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Thursday, December 28

The Regency Dandy

One of my favorite descriptions of the Regency dandy, and one that I contributed to Wikipedia, is the following in which author Venetia Murray quotes an excerpt from An Exquisite's Dairy, from The Hermit in London, 1819:

Took four hours to dress; and then it rained; ordered the tilbury and my umbrella, and drove to the fives' court; next to my tailors; put him off after two years tick; no bad fellow that Weston...broke three stay-laces and a buckle, tore the quarter of a pair of shoes, made so thin by O'Shaughnessy, in St. James's Street, that they were light as brown paper; what a pity they were lined with pink satin, and were quite the go; put on a pair of Hoby's; over-did it in perfuming my handkerchief, and had to recommence de novo; could not please myself in tying my cravat; lost three quarters of an hour by that, tore two pairs of kid gloves in putting them hastily on; was obliged to go gently to work with the third; lost another quarter of an hour by this; drove off furiously in my chariot but had to return for my splendid snuff-box, as I knew that I should eclipse the circle by it.

Beau Brummell, image from the British Library

Beau Brummell was the quintessential dandy of the era. Dandies are described in Prinny's Set on the Georgian Index.

Find a short history of Brummell's most famous sartorial contribution on the The White Satin Cravat.

Here is another quote about Brummell: "George Bryan "Beau" Brummell, then, must qualify as the most committed dandy of them all. Not only was he an enthusiastic, lifelong slave to his mirrors, he also polished them with champagne. His outrageously flamboyant, nascent rock'n'roll lifestyle, decadent splurging, shameless narcissism and meticulous attention to vanity and wardrobe has set the gold standard for dandies ever since." (From All Mouths and Trousers)

Click on the following links to learn more about Mr. Brummell:

Beau Brummell: The Dandy

George Brian Brummell: Biography

The Sartorial Dandy

Lesson Two: The Gentleman's Wardrobe

Upon My Word! Regency Fact and Figures

The Emergence of the Dandy

Dandyism: Andrew Solomon

Also on this blog: Male Bastions: The Clubs of St. James's

Dandy Clubs for Research


Lady Jane said...

Oh, I'm so jealous! What a gorgeously interesting blog!

Ms. Place said...

Thank you, Lady Jane. Being an avid knitter, I am in awe of your blog too!

Aarti said...

I just found this blog today and it's wonderful! I love Jane Austen, and I like how you've made the blog about the little nuances of the Georgian and Regency world. From Austen, I became a Regency addict and now love buying books of all sorts, fiction and non-fiction, that take place in the era for what I call "immersion value."

If you haven't yet read Ian Kelly's biography on Beau Brummell, I'd recommend it. I found it excellent.

Thanks for a great blog- I'll definitely have it bookmarked!

Ms. Place said...

Thank you for the Beau Brummel recommendation, Aarti. I will definitely look into that book!