Dust jacket notes by Laura Ashley: "I first stepped over the threshold of Platt Hall two years ago and the hours I have spent there since have been a total enchantment to me. In one of the prettiest buildings in England is housed a collection of costumes expressing the hopes and dreams, as well as the duties and orderliness, of the town and country people of the region during the 18th and 19th centuries. The poignancy of the collection is heightened by the fact that the era it represents coincides with the focus of calico printing on Manchester itself. Here you will find both the rich silks and embroideries of court dress, and the no less appealing printed cottons of local manufacture. The farmers' and mill-owners' wives of Cheshire and Lancashire used these wonderful printed cottons and chintzes to create exquisite gowns for special occasions, and simple dresses for morning wear. You can see the respectable day dresses, millinery and lace of the urban middle classes, together with the aprons, cloaks and handsome workwear of country women, giving a total picture of a vanished culture."