So what got me interested in costume and the fashions of the past? Well the answer is more or less below! As a child I was taken around many castles, historic monuments and stately homes and loved it. Family holidays always involved trips like that and with my vivid childhood imagination I could picture those castles as they had been no matter how ruined they were. And, as my dad has always been keen on history I could pour over the pictures in his books when I got home and feed my imagination even more.
Of course those trips always end up in the gift shop if there is one and my holiday pocket money purchase of choice would be a costume doll. Add that to the gifts I then inevitably received, most notably from an Irish friend of the family who never visited home without bringing me back a doll, and I built up quite the collection.
See what and who you can spot here! Some may not be as obvious as they appear and a couple of them I inherited so I'm not sure myself where they come from. But there's a Madame Pompadour, Anne Hathaway, Queen Margaret and an assortment from Jersey, Ireland and wee kilties from here of course. Comments and suggestions welcome, especially for the middle-eastern looking lady in the dark blue who has always been a bit of a puzzle. Also the back left doll with the blonde plaits and lace headress.
I also had a Jean Plaidy book on the young Mary Queen of Scots, which teamed with the relative proximity of Linlithgow Palace and family links with Falkland, where her favourite home and hunting lodge was, gave me a fascination for her which persists today. She's in that box too, along with one of her ladies in waiting, Mary Seton.
The only doll missing from here, as she was still out until recently is a very nice Lillie Langtry doll. Does anyone recall a fabulous doll shop on the Royal Mile, near to John Knox's house? It's gone now but it was a fantastic shop for a kid like me!