Architects designed them. Society ladies, nuns and "fallen women" alike made them. And the result was an influential public are of lavish beauty and artistic skill: ecclesiastical embroideries.
The Watts Book of Embroidery is the first book devoted to the fascinating story of Victorian and Edwardian church needlework. Today remarkably little known, these embroideries document important aspects of nineteenth-century design by Pugin, Bodley, Morris, Kempe and others. Their making also contributed towards a new style in the 1870s "Art Needlework“ as well as providing a training ground for women who later stitched for the Suffrage Movement.
The 200 illustrations, most especially commissioned for this book, show exquisite treasure from churches and convents throughout Britain.
The author, Mary Schoeser, is a well-known authority on nineteenth- and twentieth- century textiles. Together with a team of writers and researchers, she has drawn together a compelling account that brings to life a hitherto overlooked aspect of Victorian and Edwardian decorative arts.