1340 to 1363 were years remarkable for dramatic developments in fashion and for extravagant spending on costume, foreshadowing the later luxury of Richard II's court. Stella Mary Newton broke new ground with this detailed study, which discusses fourteenth-century costume in detail. She draws on surviving accounts from the Royal courts, the evidence of chronicles and poetry (often from unpublished manuscripts), and representations in painting, sculpture and manuscript illumination. Her exploration of aspects of chivalry, particularly the choice of mottoes and devices worn at tournaments, and of the exchange of gifts of clothing between reigning monarchs, offers new insights into the social history of the times, and she has much to say that is relevant to the study of illuminated manuscripts of the fourteenth century. STELLA MARY NEWTON's lifelong interest in costume has been the mainspring of her work, from early days as a stage and costume designer (including designing the costumes for the first production of T.S.
Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral) to her later work at the National Gallery advising on the implications of costume for the purpose of dating, and at the Courtauld Institute where she set up the department for the study of the history of dress.