Thursday, 27 June 2013

'The Beau Monde: Fashionable Society in Georgian London' by Hannah Greig


Release date: 26th September 2013
Published by: OUP Oxford
ISBN No: 978 0199659005


Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, glamorous celebrity and, all too often, embroiled in scandal and gossip, 18th-century London's fashionable society had a well-deserved reputation for frivolity. But to be fashionable in 1700s London meant more than simply being well dressed. Fashion denoted membership of a new type of society - the beau monde, a world where status was no longer determined by coronets and country seats alone but by the more nebulous qualification of metropolitan 'fashion'. Conspicuous consumption and display were crucial; the right address, the right dinner guests, the right possessions, the right jewels, the right seat at the opera. 

The Beau Monde leads us on a tour of this exciting new world, from court and parliament to London's parks, pleasure grounds, and private homes. From brash displays of diamond jewellery to the subtle complexities of political intrigue, we see how membership of the new elite was won, maintained - and sometimes lost. On the way, we meet a rich and colourful cast of characters, from the newly ennobled peer learning the ropes and the imposter trying to gain entry by means of clever fakery, to the exile banned for sexual indiscretion. 

Above all, as the story unfolds, we learn that being a Fashionable was about far more than simply being 'modish'. By the end of the century, it had become nothing less than the key to power and exclusivity in a changed world.


Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

2 comments:

  1. Definitely one for the wishlist, sounds a fabulous book :)

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  2. The 18th century is an interesting period in history and especially in England. Here is a direct web link to the Old Bailey Online. It is a very interesting article in relation to London in the 18th century: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/static/London-life18th.jsp

    The Old Bailey Online is collaboration between the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield and the Open University,

    The Old bailey Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts between 1676 and 1772. It allows access to over 197,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 2,500 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.

    In addition to the text, accessible through both keyword and structured searching, this website provides digital images of all 190,000 original pages of the Proceedings, 4,000 pages of Ordinary's Accounts, advice on methods of searching this resource, information on the historical and legal background to the Old Bailey court and its Proceedings, and descriptions of published and manuscript materials relating to the trials covered. Contemporary maps, and images are also provided.

    You can easily get lost for a couple of days on this website! ;-)

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