Celebrating Beau Brummell

Today marks the anniversary of the death of legendary fashionista (or should that be fashionisto?) Beau Brummell in 1840. For more information on his life, and his afterlife in pop culture, you can look here or here. Since I have an unexpectedly busy day today (ugh!) I decided to celebrate him with some very, er, decorative images of some favorite costume dramas of recent years. All of these men’s costumes seem in one way or another a tribute to the Beau!

Who are some of your favorite “historical” men??

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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31 Responses to Celebrating Beau Brummell

  1. Judy says:

    Some great choices! Where’s Sharpe? *w*

  2. Great post gentlemen! There was not much about the first reaal dandy ‘Beau’ Brummell in the net. We remembered together with the birthday of a german intelectual dandy, Ernst Jünger:

  3. Virginia C says:

    Sir Percy Blakeney, aka “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, was the most outlandish fop of his time. He was also the bravest, most cunning and passionate man of his day.

    “We seek him here, we seek him there,
    Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
    Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
    That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.”

    Sink me!

    Leslie Howard, who portayed Sir Percy to perfection in the 1934 film version, was also a man of unseen bravery. While Leslie was immortalized by his portrayal of Ashley Wilkes in the film version of “Gone With the Wind”, he was more than just an actor:

    “Gone With the Wind” actor Leslie Howard will be honored as a war hero with a monument in Spain near where his plane was shot down by Nazi fighter pilots during World War II, a historical association said Saturday. The propeller-shaped sculpture will be unveiled in July near Cedeira bearing the names of those who died aboard the commercial flight from Portugal to Britain in 1943, said the Royal Green Jackets association and author Jose Rey Ximena. Association President Manuel Santiago Arenas Roca said the London-born Howard joined the Allies and campaigned hard against the Axis powers. Ximena said Germany’s government at the time apparently was worried about the negative impact the high-profile actor-director’s anti-Nazi publicity was having on its cause. Many books have been written about KLM flight 777 which was downed by a squadron of Junkers 88 fighter planes, said Ximena, who believes the star of the 1939 Academy-Award-winning “Gone with the Wind” and the 1934 movie “The Scarlet Pimpernel” had been on “a secret mission” to stop Spain joining Germany and Italy in combat. Spain, under the power of fascist dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, had formed an alliance with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government, which based German Luftwaffe warplanes on its soil. The author said Howard’s contribution to winning the war is in danger of being forgotten. Most of the books relating to his untimely death were published in the 1950s, and the association wants to pay tribute to a man who put his fame and communication skills to work combatting Nazi propaganda. The monument will be simple: a partially damaged Douglas DC-3 propeller similar to those that were on the plane on which Howard died. It will contain the names of all the crash victims. Ximena said there was considerable evidence that Howard was targeted specifically, thus becoming a war hero.

    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. http://www.fashionstate.com/lesliehoward/index.htm

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  4. So nice to see such gorgeous men on such a wretched day in New York. And I agree where’s Sean Bean?

  5. Judy, you are so right! And I was just watching “Sharpe” on Sunday. How could I forget him? 🙂 (Of course, BB would probably consider him impossibly dusty and grubby…)

    Matthias, it’s not an on-line resource but I really enjoyed Ian Kelly’s bio “Beau Brummell: Ultimate Man of Style”. Thanks for popping by Risky Regencies!

    Virginia–I am very glad to hear Leslie Howard is being honored with a monument! I think he is underrated as an actor, and his war work was heroic. And I LOVE “Scarlet Pimpernel” 🙂

  6. Sewicked says:

    Is it odd that I’ve always had a fondness for Admiral Nelson?

  7. Oh I agree, Sewicked. Nelson was such a sex beast, even when missing various bits (but not the most important ones). He and Emma wrote wonderfully hot letters to each other all their lives.

    I thought Ian Kelly’s bio of Brummell was brilliant, too, Amanda.

    Mr. Lubinsky, no gentlemen here, I’m afraid. Some of us qualify as ladies. Looks like an excellent blog–if only I understood German.

  8. Jane Austen says:

    Virginia C….what an interesting story. I never knew.

    I have always been a Captain Wentworth girl although I prefer Bryan Marshall to any other Wentworth…he starred in the 1970 version and looks like Matthew McFayden only with more hair and bigger sideburns, but very dreamy.

    I am disappointed to not see Jeremy Northam here who looks so delicious in period clothing. He’s starring in a new medical drama on some TV network…it will be weird to see him in scrubs unless he practices modern medicine in a cravat? One can only hope.

    He’s not historic since he has only been dead for 20 years, but I am incredibly attracted to Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize winning physicist who discovered why the Challenger exploded. I actually have a picture of him on my desk at work…that’s how obsessed I am. Most people think it’s my grandfather, hah!



  9. Jane Austen says:

    PS I completely agree on Nelson…Janet said it best…he was a sex beast.

  10. Great choices, and wonderful pictures, loved James Purefoy as Beau Brummell in the BBC movie *sigh*

    I have that book by Ian Kelly, I haven’t read it yet, hard cover and weighs a ton! It looks fascinating.

    Got to agree about Nelson as well.
    Too bad letter writing is out of fashion, esp. hot letters.

  11. See, Nelson does nothing for me, but Wellington, now….Mmmmm… Sure, I would’ve wanted to strangle him over politics and general elitism on multiple occasions, but so intelligent, intense, and snarky, and I’ve always had a thing for long-nosed blue-eyed men. (Though, naturally, I married one with lovely brown eyes and a cute nose.)

    And on the French side, I’ve developed something of a crush on Michel Ney. All that courage and honor…and the rare bonus of evidently having actually been a good husband, too!

  12. Diane Gaston says:

    Susan, I’m with you. Nelson? meh. Wellington!! Sigh. I agree with everything you said about him. I did marry a big nosed man, but with hazel eyes. We have to fight Kristine Hughes over him though. See here http://onelondonone.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-finally-criminal.html

    Virginia C, YES to Leslie Howard!

    Amanda, you forgot Greg Wise’s Willoughby (the Emma Thompson S and S), and Dan Stevens’s Edward Ferrars (the BBC S and S. And besides forgeting Sharpe and James Purefoy and all the other ones, you did good!

  13. Jane George says:

    mmmm, eye candy. nom nom nom

  14. Diane, somehow I get the impression Wellington wouldn’t have had a problem at all with three such intelligent and sophisticated women as you, me, and Kristine all sharing an interest in him. ;-/

  15. Kristine says:

    SHARE him?! I think not, ladies. It amuses me no end that you speak and act as though you truly have a chance in Hades with the man. Really!

    As to Ian Kelly,the last I had contact with him, he was supposed to begin a play on Broadway, Pitmen Painters. And, he was going to start filming the next Harry Potter – he’s set to play Hermoine’s father. Will have to email him before June and see if he’ll even be in London then. And see what historic bio is next on his agenda. I’m dying to know!

    Yes, Sewicked, your penchant for Nelson IS decidedly odd. Although, at least it means that you’re not one of the pack constantly at Arthur’s heels.

    Karyn – read the demmed Brummell book already – it’s wonderful. Use the OED as a bookstop until you’re done with it.

  16. Diane Gaston says:

    Kristine, how easily you drop Ian Kelly’s name, leaving me with a dropped jaw, saying, “Wait. She KNOWS him???????”
    Tell him I LOVED his Brummel book, too.

    (and Artie is NOT yours….)

  17. Loved the Ian Kelly bio of Brummel !!

    And it is good to see Nelson get some well-deserved attention. Definitely a sex beast!

    However, I am also a Wellington fan as well. Merely a fan, however! I would NEVER dream of trying to win him from his one true love, The Divine Diane Gaston !

    Thanks for the feast of historically dressed men. Great inspiration!

  18. Henry Tilney all the way. Give me a man who’s man enough to joke about muslin.

  19. So many men–so little time! or blog space 🙂

  20. librarypat says:

    I think Beau Brummell has turned up as a character in more books that I’ve read than any other single character. That alone indicates what a presence he was in society.
    No real favorite period actors. I just enjoy them all.

  21. Kristine says:

    Diane – I do not “know” Ian Kelly. Jo Manning does. However, when his Brummell book came out, I wrote him a Regency-speak letter telling him that Jo had brought me back a copy of the book from England and that I thought it was a masterpiece. He then called me to thank me for what I’d said and we’ve corresponded via email since. I’m still looking forward to actually making his acquaintence. And if I do, you can be sure there’ll be pics on our blog!

  22. Thank you, Amanda, for posting that picture of Captain Wentworth. Yum!!

  23. Diane Gaston says:

    Jo Manning knows Ian Kelly, too? I’m still impressed, Kristine. And you’d better blog about him!

  24. “Jo Manning knows Ian Kelly, too?”

    Very impressive! He must be fascinating to talk to (I loved his book about Casanova as well as the Brummell bio…)

    I may have to do another Hot Historical Men post to add all the great ones I forgot. 🙂

  25. azteclady says:

    My apologies, I have been staring at James Purefoy…

    what was the question again?

  26. Kristine says:

    Here’s Ian’s page for Beau Brummell-both the book and the movie. Did you know he played Robert Manners in the film? http://www.iankelly.net/writer_brummell/

  27. Susan/DC says:

    Once again I display my ignorance (an all too frequent occurrence), but who are the actors in the first, fourth, and last photos? I recognize all the others, as well as the films, but I don’t know those three. Any help in identifying these attractive men will be most appreciated.

    I can understand why Gerard Butler’s costume (what there was of it) in “The 300” doesn’t count as Regency wear, but I add my voice to those who wonder why Sean Bean is missing.

  28. Jane Austen says:

    The first is from the Frances O’Connor Mansfield Park…Alessandro Nivola. He played Henry Crawford.

    The fourth is JJ Feild who played Henry Tilney in the 2007 Northanger Abbey.

    The last is from Cranford, but I don’t know his name.

  29. Emery Lee says:

    You ladies may call me cougar if you will, but I fear you have grossly overlooked one – Ioannn Grufudd as Horatio Hornblower.
    BTW-Robert Lindsey wasn’t half-bad either! Link to hot shots -http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=ioan+gruffudd+as+horatio+hornblower&form=QBIR&qs=n&sk=#

  30. Jane Austen says:

    Emery, Ioan is delicious as Hornblower or anyone else. Good call!

  31. Jane Austen says:

    For those Wellington lovers….did any of you notice that his portrait is used on the cover of the UK edition of Captain Wentworth’s Diary? I just figured it out. Shouldn’t someone be upset that it’s not a navy man? Although he is quite dreamy in that picture. Anyone know of a good painting with a Regency naval officer? PLEASE let me know!

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