Hannah Grieg on The Beau Monde
Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, scandal and gossip, 18th century fashionable society had a reputation for frivolity. But to be ‘fashionable’ denoted membership of a new type of society: the beau
monde, where status was no longer determined by coronets and countryseats alone.
Conspicuous consumption and display were crucial and by the end of the century being fashionable had become nothing less than the key to power and exclusivity in a changed world.
As well as lecturing on the 18th century at the University of York, Hannah is an historical adviser for film, television and theatre including The Duchess, Bath Theatre’s School for Scandal and BBC’s Jamaica Inn.
Simon Heffer in conversation with Roger Hudson
1840s Britain was wracked by poverty, fear of riot and revolution and attempts to assassinate the Queen. By the 1880s it was a confident and prosperous nation, transformed by industrialisation and new attitudes to politics, education, women and the working class. Heffer tells the story of a group of dynamic and high‑minded politicians and philanthropists, writers and thinkers who remade the country, its institutions and its mindset.
Simon Heffer needs no introduction as a columnist. He is the author of several books, most recently HIGH MINDS: The Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain. Roger Hudson is a historian, editor and author who has spent much time in the 19th Century!