Nationalism & Nostalgia
Costume history books provided readers with recognizable symbols delineating regional, ethnic, and class differences. These were meant to stand in for national character and temperament. In part due to industrialization, the nineteenth century witnessed a growing sense of nostalgia over both “the abandonment of national costume” (Gardilanne), and traditional ideas about class. These books sought to portray and preserve both, often depicting the lower and working classes in bucolic poses, as nostalgic metaphors for nationalism.