A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty: Cover Reveal!

At long last, I can reveal the beautiful cover of my upcoming book A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty. It was designed by Jon Wilkinson at Pen and Sword Books (UK) and features one of my favorite historical paintings: Toilette by Jules James Rougeron, 1877. I hope you love it as much as I do!

The back cover copy reads as follows:

What did a Victorian lady wear for a walk in the park? How did she style her hair for an evening at the theatre? And what products might she have used to soothe a sunburn or treat an unsightly blemish? Mimi Matthews answers these questions and more as she takes readers on a decade-by-decade journey through Victorian fashion and beauty history.

Women’s clothing changed dramatically during the course of the Victorian era. Necklines rose, waistlines dropped, and Gothic severity gave way to flounces, frills, and an abundance of trimmings. Sleeves ballooned up and skirts billowed out. The crinoline morphed into the bustle and steam-moulded corsets cinched women’s waists ever tighter.

As fashion was evolving, so too were trends in ladies’ hair care and cosmetics. An era which began by prizing natural, barefaced beauty ended with women purchasing lip and cheek rouge, false hairpieces and pomades, and fashionable perfumes made with expensive spice oils and animal essences.

Using research from nineteenth century beauty books, fashion magazines, and ladies’ journals, Mimi Matthews brings the intricacies of a Victorian lady’s toilette into modern day focus. In the process, she gives readers a glimpse of the social issues that influenced women’s clothing and the societal outrage that was an all too frequent response to those bold females who used fashion and beauty as a means of asserting their individuality and independence.

A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty will be available for pre-order soon. It’s scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom in July. I’ll update with information on the American pre-order and release dates as soon as I have them.

Mimi Matthews is the author of  The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th CenturiesA Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty (Pen and Sword Books , July 2018), and The Lost Letter: A Victorian Romance. She researches and writes on all aspects of nineteenth century history—from animals, art, and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law. 

© 2015-2018 Mimi Matthews

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Ravishing! Congratulations! 😊


This is beautiful! Can’t wait to get my own copy!


PERFECT cover design for the title of this book, Mimi! Putting this on my wish list. :)

S, R, Janssen

Those fashions were created to be painted. They are beautiful, but sigh! require corsets and lacings that I couldn’t abide today. What’s wanted is a designer who can incorporate comfort with Regency and Victorian style.

Barbara Albin

Beautiful, can not wait.


Gorgeous! I will certainly be buying this!


OMG! Bee-yoo-ti-fulllll!!!!!!!


Congratulation and best wishes for the success of your book. With a beautiful cover like that, it will sell easily.


What a gorgeous cover! Congratulations!

Sue Bassett

This looks so beautiful! It’s going to be incredibly useful for research – `i can’t wait to read it, congratulations Mimi!

Laurie Welch

How useful and fun to keep alongside all the classic literature I read!


Congratulations!! Will look out for it when its published.

S.K. Rizzolo

Beautiful cover. I look forward to this book. Congratulations, Mimi!