Hope A. Greenberg collage of Hope in costume

Austen Era Fashion Research

Jane Austen's lifetime aligns closely with one of the most revolutionary periods in clothing history, spanning the United States Federal Era, the French Empire era, and the British Regency Era. Austen herself used fashion as a way to delineate her characters and her letters show that she was well aware of, and kept current with, fashion trends.

In addition to studying historic clothing, focusing on the evolution of fashion and the language that describes it, I also re-create and wear it. For the last several years my focus has been on late 18th/early 19th century clothing of the gentry. I have presented on the topic of "Austen-era" fashion for national conferences, JASNA-VT, history and literature courses, libraries, and other groups.

What I do

"Fashion is Hope Greenberg's passion"
An interview for the Jane Austen Summer Program, 2016, U of North Carolina

Talks and Presentions

Workshops and Guides

collage of images from Ackermanns

The Ackermann Project


Issued monthly from the years 1809 through 1828, Ackermann's "Repository of the Arts" published two hand-coloured fashion plates per month as well as plates with embroidery patterns, and actual fabric swatches. Unlike several other periodicals, it also included descriptions of each plate along with fashion articles, usually in the form of long "letters" from one woman to another, of both French and English fashions.

While the full volumes are now available at the Internet Archive, the Ackermann Project seeks to make the fashion-specific images and articles available more directly. In addition to high resolution images of the plates, the database will include ways to search through the images (for example, based on garment name, color, or fabric) as a way to assist aspiring clothing re-creators and researchers.