On Dandyism and George Brummell

On Dandyism and George Brummell (French: Du dandysme et de George Brummell) is an 1845 biographical essay by the French writer Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. It has also been published in English as Of Dandyism and of George Brummell and The Anatomy of Dandyism. It uses the English fashion icon Beau Brummell (1778–1840) as the starting point for a discussion on dandyism. The book is dedicated to the author's friend César Daly.


Barbey d'Aurevilly had no intention to write an exhaustive biography on Brummel—such a book had been written by William Jesse and published in 1844. His aim was instead to use Brummel's life to define what distinguishes the dandy. Brummel had lived in Calais and Caen in France, and Barbey d'Aurevilly met many of the people who had known Brummel during his time in the country.[1]


When the book was finished it was first distributed among Brummel's French friends before it was printed in Paris.[1] An English translation by Douglas Ainslie was published in 1897 as Of Dandyism and of George Brummell.[2] Wyndham Lewis made a second translation which was published in 1928 as The Anatomy of Dandyism.[3] A new translation by George Walden was published in 2002.[4]


  1. ^ a b Kelly, Ian (2013). Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style. New York City: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-7089-2.
  2. ^ "Of dandyism and of George Brummell". WorldCat. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  3. ^ "The anatomy of dandyism, with some observations on Beau Brummell". WorldCat. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  4. ^ "Who is a dandy?. On dandyism and George Brummell". WorldCat. Retrieved 2015-07-01.