Open Access to Article on Jane Austen's Pelisse

by hilary_davidson in London

Open Access to Article on Jane Austen's Pelisse
We did it
On 4th June 2015 we successfully raised £596 with 58 supporters in 56 days

Raising $800/£500 fee for making the journal article 'Reconstructing Jane Austen’s Silk Pelisse, 1812-14' available via Open Access

by hilary_davidson in London

Project aim

Raising the $800/£500 fee to make the journal article 'Reconstructing Jane Austen’s Silk Pelisse, 1812-14' available via Open Access

About the project

I'm publishing the first scholarly article on a silk pelisse coat that once probably belonged to Jane Austen, held in Hampshire County Archives, in June 2015 in the journal Costume. Maney, the publishers, can make this article open access online instead of needing to subscribe. They ask for a payment of US$800 or £500 to do this, which the author must pay. See for more information on this excellent journal.

If enough interested readers are willing to contribute a small amount now to the Open Access fee, I can make this article free forever for everyone interested in Regency clothing, in Jane Austen, in dress reconstruction, and early nineteenth century dress history. The article includes the pattern of the pelisse so is a fantastic resource for costumers and curators. It also presents exciting new evidence for what Jane Austen looked like, including a body match for the pelisse.

The amount being asked for is £550 to include the fees taken by Crowdfunder and Paypal. If the full amount is not received then the project won't be funded and your contribution won't be deducted. 

A donation of just £2 / $2.95 will give you a PDF copy of the article the day it is published, sent directly to your inbox. Accessing articles from the Maney website without Open Access normally costs £24 for 24 hours. 

If you would like to contribute more, a £10 / $15 donation will also get you an exclusive 15x15cm / 4x4 inch sample of the reproduction pelisse fabric being made by specialist firm Whitchurch Silk Mill. This has no fixed production date as yet so will take a little longer to arrive. 

Thank you for helping to share knowledge and support research into Jane Austen and Regency fashion.

Hilary Davidson

Please see my Academia page for more information on my extensive experience as a dress historian and curator



This article explores the physical qualities and historical contexts of the silk pelisse coat dated c. 1812-1814 associated with Jane Austen (1775-1817) through family provenance and now held by Hampshire County Museum Services and Archives. The author took an exact pattern of the pelisse (included), then made replica garments. The association with Jane Austen is considered using evidence from Austen’s letters about her tastes in colours, length of fabrics needed for clothing, and ownership of a silk pelisse. The silk’s oak-leaf pattern is interpreted as a British patriotic motif, especially during the period of Napoleonic conflicts. Questions and insights arising from the process of reproduction are discussed, and the pelisse is compared to other surviving garments, and to contemporary fashionable images. As evidence suggests the pelisse probably did belong to Austen, her physical characteristics that can be gleaned from the garment are compared with information about Austen’s appearance.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£2 or more

£2 Reward

A PDF copy of the article on publication in June 2015

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A PDF copy of the article and a 15 x 15cm sample of the pelisse's reproduction silk fabric from Whitchurch

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