Belle podcast resources

To accompany our podcast of the 2013 movie Belle, here are some resources related to costumes in the movie. It’s worth noting, however, that the movie costumes don’t reflect the specific period of the historical events the movie depicts. Dido “Belle” Lindsay lived from 1761 to 1804, and the painting of  Belle and her cousin was made around 1778. The movie centers around the Zong massacre case (also called Gregson vs. Gilbert), which was decided in 1783. The costumes and hairstyles did not reflect this precise period of Belle’s life — they looked to be more mid-1760s.

If you’d like to know more about Belle herself, check out this article in which a historian reviews the film.

If you’ll trust the Daily Mail, here’s a longer version of the story of Dido’s life.

NPR has a short article, plus an audio interview, with the film’s director that specifically focuses on the portrait that inspired the book that inspired the movie.

Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay & her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, c. 1778. Attributed to Johann Zoffany.

Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay & her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, c. 1778. Attributed to Johann Zoffany.

If you’d like something more authoritative, here’s the biography that inspired the film.

And if you’re interested in 1760s costuming, here are some resources for you!

 

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About the author

Kendra

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Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

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