One of the books in my collection is entitled Representations of Dresses, Morals and Customs in The Kingdom Of Holland at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century. It was published by Evert Maaskamp in Amsterdam in 1808. It is a collection of large, hand coloured engravings showing the national costumes of Holland. The text explains some of the customs of the people depicted, thus proving that “The different quarters of the Kingdom seem to be inhabited by different nations.” The image below is a good example. Not only do the the people wear the dress of the region, they even speak a different language: Frisian. It is still widely spoken in Friesland today and it is a compulsory subject in most in primary schools there.
The caption below the engraving is in three different languages: Frisian, Dutch and French. The woman calls the man “Heit”, which is Frisian for father and tells him that it was very cold in church. The man is carrying a finely carved wooden box . It has a metal tray inside containing some glowing coals that they took from home when they went to church. Women would keep this box under their flowing skirts to keep nice and warm.