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Beau Brummell
1778 - 1840
Beau Brummell, nickname of George Bryan Brummell - British dandy. The son of Lord North`s (Lord North was king George III`s prime minister) private secretary, he attended Oxford and became famous for his dress and wit as well as for his friendship with George, prince of Wales (regent from 1811 and afterward king George IV). He established the mode of men wearing understated, but fitted, tailored clothes including dark suits and full-length trousers, adorned with an elaborately knotted cravat. Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man`s suit, worn with a tie. He claimed to take five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. His style of dress was known as dandyism. Beau Brummell was considered an authority in matters of men`s dress and etiquette. His exquisite manner of dressing, disdain of anything vulgar, and his great appreciation of beauty, combined with an extraordinarily cool composure and rare charm, defined him as one of the truly unique characters in English history. His sharp tongue had alienated his patron. Having quarreled with the prince, and deeply in debt from gambling, Brummell fled to Calais, France to avoid his creditors, where he lived for 14 years in poverty and squalor before becoming British consul at Caen (1830 -1832). In 1835 his friends rescued him from debtor`s prison, but he soon lost all interest in his personal appearance. He died insane in a charitable asylum at Caen, France.
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