After our visit costume fun it was mentioned off hand about doing a Man Mondays in July…I really liked that idea (I may have also been the one to suggest it) and decided that there is no better way to kick off this month’s theme than with the most iconic Regency Man:
Beau Brummell, born George Bryan Brummell is known for establishing the mode of dress for the fashionable Regency male. As pictured above, this is his signature look of dark coat, full-length trousers, and an elaborately knotted cravat. (See Wordless Wednesday #44 for examples.)
Beau had quite an interesting life. He was from a middle class family with aspirations of higher standing. Beau went to Eton and then went to Oxford. He didn’t last long at the University before dropping out at 16 and joining the military. While in the military he caught the eye of the Prince of Wales and the two formed a friendship that extended after his military service ended. This friendship helped in his establishment in London Society. When the Prince became Regent is it said he turned his back on a lot of his old friends, including Beau. By 1816, Beau had amassed quite some debt, having been negatively influenced by his Society friends to spend beyond his means. To avoid debtor’s prison he fled to France. He lived out his life in France, where he ended up in debtor’s prison and died penniless and insane at Le Bon Sauveur Asylum in 1840.
To read more about Beau, you can read his Wikipedia page which includes a list of books. There is also an entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica, RegencyHistory.net, JASNA, and Dandyism.net
While I was putting together the list, I saw a very interesting article on History.com:
4 Rules for Bathing, According to Beau Brummell (read the article for full descriptions of the four rules).
1. Take a bath every day.
2. Bathing is best.
3. Always bathe in hot water.
4. Avoid powders and ointments after your bath.
In 1917 Gillette used Beau in the following advertisement: