Chapter

Introduction: Sham Grandeurs, Sham Chivalries: Architectures of Aristocracy in Ireland and the American South

Ellen Crowell

in The Dandy in Irish and American Southern Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625482
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652051 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625482.003.0001
Introduction: Sham Grandeurs, Sham Chivalries: Architectures of Aristocracy in Ireland and the American South

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This introductory chapter explains the theme of this book, which is about dandyism in Irish and American Southern literature; discusses the distinction between a dandyism rooted in the Regency period and a dandyism amorphously abroad; and uses the dandy figure as a transatlantic harbinger of aristocracy's inevitable decline. The book shows how the dandy figure travelled further than England and France, gaining purchase in the cultural imaginations of Anglo-Ireland and the American South, where writers capitalised upon the ambiguous dandy's performance of gentility and the challenge which that performance posed to aristocratic claims of genetic exclusivity.

Keywords: dandyism; Irish literature; American South literature; dandy figure; aristocracy; England; France; cultural imaginations

Chapter.  10071 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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