Knox Museum will host a champagne reception to launch Julie Stackpole’s long-awaited book, “Dressing the New Republic: Authentic American Costume from 1775 to 1805,” Wednesday evening, June 25, in the Oval Room at Montpelier, just off Route 1 at the turn to St. George.

Costume historian and illustrator Stackpole will give a presentation at 6:30 p.m. and sign books, which will be available for sale for the first time through Montpelier’s Gift Shop. The event is free and open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

“Dressing the New Republic” is a guide to understanding authentic period dress for both men and women, in the elite, middle and working classes, from the start of the American Revolution in 1775 and as it evolved through four decades to 1805. With numerous illustrations, fabrics and accessories details, and sources and glossaries, the book will prove particularly interesting to costumers, but also to historical societies, museums, teachers, illustrators, writers and anyone curious about the breeches and bodice set at the turn of the 18th century.

Henry Knox fans will enjoy hearing about the evolution of the general’s wardrobe through this time period from military uniform to gentleman farmer garb, and anyone with an eye for fashion will delight in tracing the influence of the ever-stylish French on Lucy Knox’s gowns and hairdos.

Stackpole, a Thomaston resident and longtime member of Knox Museum, is a scholar of costume history who has been creating period costume for theater, historical events and museums for many decades. “Dressing the New Republic” is a publication of Maine Authors Publishing in Rockland.

Seating in Montpelier’s Oval Room is limited, so reservations are recommended. For more information, visit or call 354-8062.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or