Neal Stephenson on the Dress of Sir Winston

March 19, 2008 at 5:13 pm (Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver) (, , , , , )

p. 175 “Sir Winston was of Raleigh’s generation and had fought in the Civil War as a Cavalier — he was a serious man and so was dressed in a way that passed for dignified and understated here, in a black velvet coat, flaring out to just above the knee, with lace handkerchiefs trailing from various openings like wisps of steam, and a yellow waistcoat under that, and God only knew what else beneath the waistcoat — the sleeves of all these garments terminated near the elbows in huge wreaths of lace, ruffles, et cetera, and that was to show off his tan kid gloves. He had a broad-brimmed Cavalier-hat fringed with fluffy white stuff probably harvested from the buttocks of some bird that spent a lot of time sitting on ice floes, and a very thin mustache, and a wig of yellow hair, expensively disheveled and formed into bobbling ringlets. He had black stockings fashionably wrinkled up his calves, and high-heeled shoes with bows of a wingspan of eight inches. The stocking/breech interface was presumably somewhere around the knees and was some sort of fantastically complex spraying phenomenon of ribbons and gathers and skirtlets designed to peek out under the hems of his coat, waistcoat, and allied garments.”

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)
Neal Stephenson

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