New Book | British Dandies

Posted in books by Editor on May 5, 2022

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Dominic Janes, British Dandies: Engendering Scandal and Fashioning a Nation (Oxford: Bodleian Library Publishing, 2022), 248 pages, ‎ ISBN: 978-1851245598, £30 / $45.

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.

Dominic Janes is professor of modern history at Keele University.


List of Illustrations

1  British Dandies
2  Dressing the Sexes in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
3  A Georgian Taste for Macaroni
4  Fine and Dandy in the Regency
5  Victorians and the Aesthetic Pose
6  Fashion and Scandal in the Twentieth Century

Picture Credits

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