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Sense and Sensibility Hats

February 2, 2012

To celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811, the Museum has had on display, for the past few months, some costumes from the 1995 film directed by Ang Lee and the 2008 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s first novel.

We have written about some of the complete costumes that have been on display previously,  here and here.

Some smaller items of clothing used in both adaptations have also been on display, and this week and next we shall be posting some short posts about them, so that you can enjoy seeing them in detail. Do remember that if you click on each photograph it will enlarge, and enable you to examine all the detail.

On display in the House, in addition to the costume worn by Kate Winslet (and Charity Wakefield!), has been a hat that was worn by Emma Thompson in the 1995 film version.

Emma Thompson played  the character of Elinor Dashwood in the  film. She also won Oscar for her adaptation of the novel.  Jenny Beaven and John Bright were nominated for Oscars for their costume designs for the film.

The crown of the hat is made of silk. The brim is made of straw, and the crown is decorated with a garland of artificial flowers…

something Jane Austen thought was more natural than the fashion for fruit in 1799.

For, as, she wrote in this letter to her sister, Cassandra, dated 2nd June while she was visiting Bath :

 Flowers are very much worn, and fruit is still more the thing. Elizabeth has a bunch of strawberries, and I have seen grapes, cherries, plums, and apricots. There are likewise almonds and raisins, French plums, and tamarinds at the grocers’, but I have never seen any of them in hats. A plum or greengage would cost three shillings; cherries and grapes about five, I believe, but this is at some of the dearest shops. My aunt has told me of a very cheap one, near Walcot Church, to which I shall go in guest of something for you.

In addition, the silk reticule that  “Elinor” used in the film was also included in the display and you can see it here, below.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathy Allen permalink
    February 2, 2012 6:34 pm

    I know I’ve said this before, and I will probably say it again, I really appreciate being able to enlarge your pictures and study the close-ups. It’s the next best thing to being there, and able to actually touch the exhibits, and I thank you!

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      February 2, 2012 6:44 pm

      Thank you, Cathy. It is fascinating to see these costumes, and I am always amazed at the care taken and details included. I confess to liking Elinor’s reticule very much !

      • Cathy Allen permalink
        February 4, 2012 12:55 am

        HA! My sentiments EXACTLY! I like the hat, but I LOVE the reticule, and studied it (up close, thank you again) with an eye to replicating it. Don’t know when I’d use it, but… 🙂

  2. Sherry permalink
    February 2, 2012 9:52 pm

    I just rewatched this movie a couple of nights ago so it’s nice to see the hat and reticule up close. Thanks!

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      February 7, 2012 9:08 pm

      It’s a great film, isn’t it, Sherry. It was lovely to be able to share the photographs.

  3. Karen Field permalink
    February 3, 2012 1:34 am

    Thank you for the post. It was lovely to see the hat again.

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      February 7, 2012 9:07 pm

      Thank you for commenting, Karen. I’m so glad you enjoyed seeing the photographs of the hat.

  4. February 7, 2012 8:01 pm

    Did you work with Cosprop to get the costumes items you have been displaying? Here in the United States the exhibit, Fashion in Film used several outstanding Austen film costumes. Those items came from Cosprop and I would dearly love to be able to work with them for loans, or rental, of costume items for exhibit. Great photos of the exhibits- excellent work you do.

    • jfwakefield permalink*
      February 7, 2012 8:58 pm

      Yes, these film costumes were all provided to us by Costprop. We are so glad you enjoy looking at the photographs, we try hard to include ones which show all the details in the costumes. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to comment.


  1. Make a Regency Dress and Reticule at Keats’ House Museum « Austenonly

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