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The Well-Grounded Rubyist by David A. Black

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About the Cover Illustration

The figure on the cover of The Well-Grounded Rubyist is a “Noble Française” or a French noblewoman. The illustration is taken from the 1805 edition of Sylvain Maréchal’s four-volume compendium of regional dress customs. This book was first published in Paris in 1788, one year before the French Revolution. Each illustration is colored by hand.

The colorful variety of Maréchal’s collection reminds us vividly of how culturally apart the world’s towns and regions were just 200 years ago. In the streets or the countryside, people were easy to place—sometimes with an error of no more than a dozen miles—just by their dress. Their station in life or their trade could also be easily identified. Dress codes have changed everywhere ...

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