Senior Research Assistant.
Northumbria University, Department of Humanities (English Literature).
Beauty and sociability in the eighteenth century.
This entry explores the conceptualisation of female beauty in Britain in the long eighteenth century. The period, particularly around the mid-century, saw a surge of discourses on beauty, establishing aesthetic, moral, and social trends. Through these commentaries and women’s increasing social interaction, beauty’s idealised physical features - symmetry, fair skin and rosy cheeks - came to represent feminine virtues, such as delicacy, morality and sensibility.
The wealth and competitive elegance involved in fashionable dress in particular, were truly symbolic of the growing culture of refined sociability, luxury and consumerism.
Richard Nash, known as Beau Nash by his contemporaries, played a decisive part in the transformation of Bath, Britain’s ancient watering-place, into a fashionable resort.