Archive | July, 2012

From the Archives: The Last of the Regency Dandies (1862)

An excerpt from “The Last of the Dandies”
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, June 1862
Article unsigned

“Who is Captain Gronow?”

He is the last of the “Dandies” of the Regency of George IV.; the sole survivor—unless we except the present octogenarian Prime Minister — of the favored mortals who, forty years ago, danced at Almack’s with the fair and frail Lady Jersey; dined at White’s with Alvanley, Kangaroo Cook, Hughes Ball, Red-Herring Yarmouth, and other worthies who have long passed the Styx; who had looked with hopeless envy upon the wonderful coats and miraculous cravats of Beau Brummell and Gentleman George; who knew the men who had penetrated the sacred mysteries of Carlton House; and who never appeared by daylight until afternoon, when the world was sufficiently aired for their advent.… continue reading...

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CPR Remembers: Count Robert de Montesquiou

Of all the modern poets of France who claimed noble birth—and many did so, by inserting de before their last name as a literary and social affectation—only two indisputably had that right: Villiers de L’isle-Adam and Robert de Montesquiou.… continue reading...

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From the Archives: Beau Brummell by John Doran (1857)

A section of “Beau Brummell” from Miscellaneous Works Volume I: Habits and Men by John Doran (1857)

I scorn to crowd among the muddy throng
Of the rank multitude, whose thicken’d breath
(Like to condensed fogs) do choke the beauty
Which else would dwell in every kingdom’s cheek.

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From the Archives: Brummelliana by William Hazlitt (1828)

We look upon Beau Brummell as the greatest of small wits. Indeed, he may in this respect be considered, as Cowley says of Pindar as “a species alone,” and as forming a class by himself.… continue reading...

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From the Archives: The Life of Beau Brummell (1864)

“Beau Brummell” from Eccentric Personages by W. Russell (1864)

It is a solemn truth that every death-bed is the final scene of a great tragedy, though the death be a beggar’s, the bed one of straw.… continue reading...

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From the Archives: The Maxims of Pelham (1828)

An Excerpt from Pelham: Or the Adventures of a Gentleman by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1828)

1.) Do not require your dress so much to fit, as to adorn you.… continue reading...

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The Director of Imperial Pleasures: Gaius Petronius

It is not until the reign of that frustrated artist and unsurpassed egotist, Nero, that we again recognize the true dandy, so insolent in repose, embodied in the fragmentary figure of Gaius Petronius (Arbiter).… continue reading...

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The First Literary Dandy: Plato

The first literary dandy of whom we still have record was Plato—who was unquestionably the greatest “exquisite” of his day. This will strike most modern readers as astonishing or inconceivable but it is neither for those who know their Greek.… continue reading...

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Introduction: The Literary Dandy (A Special Issue)

When was man first freed from the drudgery of earning his income? And who was the first to dedicate himself to the art of living well?… continue reading...

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