What's your 'Dandy' name? In my stories you'll find a Jane Austen name generator (some of the names seem quite dandyish to me, especially if you add Sir or Lady at the start!). I'd love to see your Dandy name in the comments below! Will it top 'Sir Lumley Skeffington' or 'Topham Beauclerk' who are pictured in the vintage 'Dandies' tobacco cards in my photo?
Recently whilst mudlarking on the Thames foreshore I discovered a rather ornate copper 'Dandy Button', which I've included in this #tribandtuesday photo. It's from around the late eighteenth century and is in great condition. It has 9 indents which would have housed gemstones or paste jewels. Swipe to see a photo of what it looked like in situ in the mud, and a close up now it's clean. I wonder which fashionable, well-to-do gentleman wore this button? It must have been annoying to lose it!
Beau Brummell is probably the best-known Dandy, famous as a leader of fashion in the early nineteenth-century. He advocated wearing a dark well-fitting coat, full-length trousers, and a perfectly knotted cravat. Lord Byron, a contemporary of his, exemplified an altogether more flamboyant & romantic type of dandyism (just imagine his open-necked shirts with the flouncy sleeves, his colourful turbans and plush dressing gowns).
All of this lets me segue to my 1955 Penguin edition of 'Byron in Italy'. It's a fascinating book which tells the story of Byron's life between 1816-1823. It begins with Byron travelling across Europe to Lake Geneva, where he was joined by his mistress Claire Clairmont, her step-sister Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and Mary's lover Percy Shelley. It was there, in Villa Diodati, that Byron famously challenged the group to each write a ghost story, and Mary's 'Frankenstein' was born.
Don't forget to share your Dandy* name! (*Dandyess or Dandizette for ladies)
Yours with sartorial splendour,
Lady Elizabeth Hurst