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Philosopher or poseur, aristocrat or democrat, austere classicist or flamboyant eccentric? More than 200 years after Beau Brummell dazzled London with his elegance, the dandy remains an enigma. This entertaining, richly anecdotal history charts the evolution of dandyism from London to Paris, St Petersburg to Hollywood. Along the way, we meet a long line of men – Byron, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Noël Coward among them – who dedicated their lives to making a stand against drab conformity.