The Tyranny of Elegance: Consumer Cosmopolitanism in the Era of Goethe

Front Cover
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 301 pages
0 Reviews
In The Tyranny of Elegance, Daniel Purdy examines the coming of bourgeois fashion (Mode) and luxury consumerism (Luxus) to eighteenth-century Germany. Purdy examines the extraordinary influence of Frederick Bertuch's Mode Journal, which chronicled in obsessive detail the clothing and decorative trends in London, Paris, and other European capitals. He traces the elite reaction against fashion that followed the example of the king, Frederick the Great, who dressed poorly - in worn and even dirty clothes - to separate himself from the francophile fastidiousness typical of absolutist armies. The changing notions of personal appearance that swept Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, Purdy concludes, were more than simply new styles reflecting new political ideologies - they indicated a fundamental shift in the epistemology of the subject and the body.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Fashion Journals and the Education of Enlightened Consumers
Identificatory Perception

12 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information