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A while ago I was lucky to find a rather battered bound volume of “La Famille” magazine, a French weekly, dating to 1881.  Some of the issues have disappeared and the spine is broken but about half of the year’s magazines are there and have so enjoyed leafing through their pages.

Then last month I found a real treasure – a complete volume of issues from 1893 – all 52 magazines in great condition.  And so I sat with my coffee, leafing through.

Wow – what a difference 12 years makes!  The fashions had changed so much – and not for the better!  Was the 1890s the 1980s of the 19th century – if you get what I mean?  Was I seeing the shoulder pads of their day?

In 1881 the dresses were slender and elegant giving a smooth, sculpted silhouette but in 1893, after the fashion for “leg of mutton” sleeves – well, what can I say?

I’ll let you judge for yourselves: