John Styles








I am a historian who specializes in the history of eighteenth-century England. I have a particular interest in the history of everyday things used by the common people. Since 2004 I have been Research Professor in History at the University of Hertfordshire. Previously I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where I developed the historical storyline for the new British Galleries, 1500-1900, which opened in 2001.


My most recent book is The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England (Yale University Press, 2007). It investigates what ordinary English men and women wore during the century when the Industrial Revolution began. By means of words and pictures, the book shows the kinds of clothes they owned, how they acquired them and what they thought about them. Click on the title or the book cover opposite to find out more.


I am currently working on two research projects. The first – Spinning in the era of the spinning wheel – is a study of hand spinning in England from the late Middle Ages to the start of the nineteenth century. The second – Threads of Feeling – is an exhibition of the mid-eighteenth century textiles preserved in the records of LondonŐs Foundling Hospital.