Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/107

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CHAPTER VII

Circa 1250—1348

THE DAWN OF LUXURY

 
"For each age is a dream that is dying 
    Or one that is coming to birth."

NOTWITHSTANDING the barrenness and discomfort of the homes of the fourteenth century, a strange luxury marks the dress of the period. The journeys of the Crusaders to the East affected the social life of all Europe. Rich silks, costly embroideries, cloths of gold, silver girdles, and that mysterious material called samite, found their way into England and played a large part in the quaint garments of our ancestors of this period. Variety was the order of the day; brilliant colours and fantastic shapes characterised the dress of the motley crowds that sported in Medieval England. There were

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