Talk:Beau Brummell

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Pronunciation[edit]

How would you pronounce "Beau Brummell"—the former in French, the latter in English? Sounds kinda awkward! Maikel 20:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Its pronounced like bow brum-el. --RND 18:06, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The French word beau is a long since adopted English word. They could have called him a dandy or a macaroni but it didn't go with his surname. Jm butler 22:53, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to you both. Maikel 17:54, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Mr. George Bryan Brummell would have found it quite vulgar to be directly addressed as "Beau" during his lifetime. The French dandies of the next generation used the nickname, and also misspelled their idol's surname as "Brummel" (as does the first Warner Bros. film starring John Barrymore). When Brummell attended Eton, and played cricket, his nickname was "Buck". The latter fact comes from Captain Jesse's biography; and the others from simply reading every book and watching every movie I could find on the subject, as well as on Regency society in general. User:M!ssDevlin M!ssDevlin (talk) 20:41, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Prince Regent?[edit]

We need to specify the speciic person who is the "Prince Regent" in this article, who followed King George III of England.Edison 05:05, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The link from "Prince Regent" is to George IV of the United Kingdom. That's him. Nobody else in modern English history is referred to as "The Prince Regent". So I don't see a problem. Admittedly, it's awkward since there is also an article on the English Regency which would be appropriate as a link from that point, but George's own article has a link to that which is good enough for somebody researching him. – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 11:36, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Manchester[edit]

I can't imagine why a man of good taste and fashion would abandon his career rather than be posted to Manchester. Could someone expand on this? Drutt 02:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

The centre of the social universe was in London around the Court circles. Manchester was 300 miles away in the dismal, rainy north of England. Manchester was a dirty, grimy industrial town and would have filled a dandy like Brummell with utter horror. In those days a journey from Manchester to London by horse drawn coach over dusty or muddy bumpy tracks would have taken three days in each direction. 21stCenturyGreenstuff (talk) 21:57, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

And it hasn't improved much now :) I'm with Beau. "Think your Royal Highness - Manchester!!" (Goldmanuk (talk) 19:30, 9 August 2008 (UTC))

A lot of the stories about George Brummell are told a different way in every biography of the man, leading me to believe the biographies tell more about the author than the subject. There are a lot of details left out of the Manchester story, among others: The Tenth Hussars were being posted there to put down rioting millworkers; which would have forced Brummell, who was the son of a political liberal and grandson of a personal servant, to punish a group of people he may have felt had a right to protest their mistreatment. The Prince of Wales led this liberal Whig party, which was out of power during the late eighteenth century, but which had practically all of the best politicians and society hostesses in its ranks. Many sources discuss this in general terms, particularly anything about Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (Georgiana Spencer Cavendish), Charles Grey (who was to become a Prime Minister, then an Earl, and the inventor of "Earl Grey Tea" somewhere along the way), or Lord Byron (whose first speech before Parliament was in defense of independent Scottish weavers, who broke up factory machines with hammers, and were sentenced to be hung by a Tory judge). All of these fine people were on terms of friendship with George Brummell, at various times during his career in London.

One interesting thing I have picked up about Brummell from his own stories about himself (including the joke he made about "Think, Your Royal Highness - Manchester!") is that he was always the first to undercut his own arrogant persona; he presented himself in his own words as a snob, a fool, and a coward who could barely ride a horse or fire a gun. There are several versions of the "horse broke my nose" story to be found in different biographies as well. From other evidence to be found in these same biographies, it would seem the truth was more complex: Brummell hated ostentation without humour (which is probably why he got along so well with the Prince of Wales for as long as he did, as the Prince never took himself in deadly earnest); and for Brummell the best sport of all was bullying those who were used to bullying everyone else. He was disgusted by cruelty to animals, and most likely supported the Prince's ban on duels between men. But he knew better than to openly voice such opinions in a Tory-controlled London society; instead, he resorted to wisecracks to get his point across. Ultimately this may have made him even more enemies, because if there's one thing bullies hate it is humor, and they must have at least dimly perceived they were Brummell's real targets.

As to why the Prince fell out with Brummell, I do suspect it involved politics, since the date coincides with that of the Prince finally being given Regency powers by the Tory Parliament. So who knows? Maybe the Stewart Granger movie really is closer to the truth than not; and by the way, the "Lady Patricia" character probably did exist, as Sir William Pitt's real niece, Lady Hester Stanhope. She seems to have shared an intense relationship of some kind with Brummell, until the death of her uncle left her virtually penniless. Brummell's income could never have supported both of them in the manner to which they were accustomed; and she left England six years before he followed. They never saw each other again; although she did run into a very young Lord Byron on his way back to England from the East, and Byron wrote in his journal that he found her not to his taste at all (too bossy!) but that she had "a mind more free of received notions" than "other she-things", which merited his backhanded praise. On his return to London, Byron became friends with Brummell, until he too had to flee England under a cloud of scandal. Lady Hester never remarked upon her meeting with Byron; but towards the end of her life she told an English tourist that she only missed one man from her days in high society, George Brummell. Then the tourist wrote a biography of Lady Hester, which gives a divergent and probably more accurate picture of the so-called Beau than the better-known books full of received notions on the subject.

Ah, but I wander far from Manchester. One final resting place where Brummell's joke most likely found immortality - or at least notoriety - is in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice": The bad boy, Mr. Wickham, is packed off to Manchester by Mr. Darcy in order to save the Bennett family reputation, after he has eloped with Elizabeth's younger sister. Darcy buys him an officer's commission, on the condition that he get out of town; because Darcy cannot marry Lizzie if Wickham stays in the south of England and keeps misbehaving in full view of London society, never mind his compulsive flirting with Lizzie and even Darcy's own sister! Whether Jane Austen drew on certain received notions about Brummell's character for her rendering of Wickham, who knows? But we do know the Prince Regent found her books amusing, because he gave Jane Austen the Royal Warrant for her next novel, and invited her to London. "Pride and Prejudice" was published in 1813, smack in the middle of the Prince's quarrel with Brummell, culminating in that throwdown at The Dandy Ball. Perhaps the Prince caught the reference to Manchester, and like everyone else connected to George Brummell, he read into it what he wanted; which again tells us more about the Prince than it does about Brummell.

All I can say for certain about the subject, is that something of George Brummell got into anything worth knowing or doing during his lifetime, which is very hard work for someone who seemed determined to spend his life knowing and doing nothing worthwhile. What that tells about me, I don't know. Maybe that I'm an idiot to ask the question? User: M!ssDevlin M!ssDevlin (talk) 23:39, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

MissDevlin - thank you. Your writing tells me more about the person than the article :) But pictures are hung, people are hanged. 210.22.142.82 (talk) 12:32, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

This page should be linked to 1795 -1820 in Fashion[edit]

I have trouble with this passage about Beau Brummell merely linking to "fashion," a very INCOMPLETE page. George Brummell should be linked to the '1795-1820 in fashion" page, or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regency_fashion#Men.27s_fashion

For some reason, when I try to link Men of fashion to Beau Brummel, it leads to the woefully incomplete 'fashion' page instead.

At the bottom of "1795-1820 in fashion" sits an entire piece about dandies and Beau Brummell. I have more faith in the "1795-1820 in fashion" link than the plain "Fashion" link, since the research in the former is more rigorous.

Please help to make the changes!Vsanborn 04:02, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Hey, can anyone figure out what the reference to Beau Brommer in Billy Joel's song means? It's nice to talk about it in the article but I think an explanation of the lyric would be good. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.73.182.51 (talk) 23:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Women in Beau's life?[edit]

When reading such a biographic article, I'd like to find something about the married status (or otherwise) of the subject. As the text stands now, women didn't exist for Brummell except as society figures. But did they?--Kauko56 (talk) 12:30, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

The film Beau Brummell: This Charming Man, which is available on YouTube, makes him out as gay. Personally I found it an abysmal waste of time. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 02:36, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


Akis Tsochatzopoulos[edit]

Andreas Papandreou referred to Akis Tsochatzopoulos as Beautiful Brummel. It was his nickname.Many people in Greece ignore who the real Brummel was. Should there be a reference in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.105.73.27 (talk) 14:49, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

he rang for "Wales"[edit]

This is unclear:

He economised by keeping horses, rather than a carriage, but was famously embarrassed when he rang for "Wales" one night and it did not appear.

Does this mean

  • he had a horse called "Wales"? If so, why did it not appear?
  • he was ringing for a (non-existent) carriage called Wales?
  • he was ringing for the Prince of Wales, or the Prince's carriage?

jnestorius(talk) 15:22, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Newdigate Prize[edit]

The article says that Brummell competed for the prize in 1793. However, according to Newdigate prize article it wasn't founded until 1806. Gunnar Larsson (talk) 22:49, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Gunnar Larsson is perfectly correct. There was no prize for English verse at Oxford University before 1806. However, there was the Chancellor's Prize for Latin verse, which seems to have been instituted in 1768, as recorded in successive University Calendars, which also list the winners. There were various volumes of these prize poems in English translation, which can be found on Google Books, which sometimes give the false impression that the prize was awarded for these versions.
The several sources asserting that it was the Newdigate competition that Brummell went in for only demonstrate that Wikipedia's criteria that there should be verifiable references need greater stringency. They have to be reliable sources too! I am now amending the statement in the article. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 10:42, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually. what this issue demonstrates is that even supposedly "reliable sources" have to be judged on the context of what they say (often just in passing) and if something is clearly factually wrong or overstated it should be ignored, no matter what "reliable source" says it is so. Many times here on WP, a "reliable source" is essentially whatever kind of book or article a bunch of people who are working on an article like to think is reliable or which fits their views. A book doesn't become near-infallible, accurate or carefully prepared or up-to-date even for its printing date just because it was printed by a university or written by a professor (university imprints issue all kinds of books, not just carefully prepped scholarly works and textbooks). A light-hearted coolumn or an interview in the NYT, Le Figaro or the Toronto Globe and Mail isn't necessarily more trustworthy than a similar piece in The Sun. Journalism and writers have their fashions, pet ideas and buckets of greasing for the readership just like any glossy magazine has, and all media work under deadlines to some extent, sometimes very tight deadlines, which cuts down on fact-checking and detail. WP needs to address this. 83.254.151.33 (talk) 12:39, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

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