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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

British Dandies

Engendering Scandal and Fashioning a Nation

Reveals how the scandalous history of fashionable men and their clothes is a reflection of changing attitudes to style, gender, and sexuality.
Well-dressed men have played a distinctive part in the cultural and political life of Britain over several centuries. But unlike the twenty-first-century hipster, the British dandies provoked intense degrees of fascination and horror in their homeland and played an important role in British society from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

This book explores that social and cultural history through a focus on three figures: the macaroni, the dandy, and the aesthete. The first was noted for his flamboyance, the second for his austere perfectionism, and the third for his perversity. All were highly controversial in their time, pioneering new ways of displaying and performing gender, as demonstrated by the impact of key figures such as Lord Hervey, George “Beau” Brummell, and Oscar Wilde.

Illustrated with contemporary prints, portraits, and caricatures, this groundbreaking study tells the fascinating—and scandalous—story of fashionable men and their clothes.

248 pages | 28 color plates, 26 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

History: British and Irish History

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"In Janes’ fascinating book he takes us on a journey through the evolution of male peacockery in all its guises. Full of exquisitely researched detail, it illustrates with great charm the inextricable links between clothing, personality, and status, and reveals a world of public obsession with celebrity and image that long predates the modern age of the influencer."

Patrick Grant

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

Chapter One, British Dandies
Chapter Two, Dressing the Sexes in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Chapter Three, A Georgian Taste for Macaroni
Chapter Four, Fine and Dandy in the Regency
Chapter Five, Victorians and the Aesthetic Pose
Chapter Six, Fashion and Scandal in the Twentieth Century

Picture Credits

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