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The Image of the Englishman

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Chapter Summary

The author expresses his concern with the thought of those who saw it as impinging upon a sense of national self. It is thus very plausible to argue that the importance of the monarchy in setting the standards of truly English wear in the past was invoked precisely because there was now no such homely example from on high. It is very plausible to argue that this was because he represented the social via media, being neither too grand nor too poor. In England, given the nature of their desirable self-image, the criticism of those who dressed 'both extravagantly and elaborately', prioritising ornamentation and display over function, was especially acute, especially as the tendencies filtered down through society. It is well to give an overview of what particular fashions were read as 'excess' when transplanted into England. The plainly-spoken, plainly-dressed Englishman was himself a grand statement of the age.

Keywords: England; Englishman



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