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An Ideal Husband Historical Context

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Historical Context

The Dandy

Dandies, of which there are many in Wilde's play, are a phenomenon of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Europe. Dandies were men that were known for their commitment to fashion—usually extravagant fashion—and for their love of all things beautiful in general. Nineteenth-century dandies in the new mega-cities such as, Paris, London, and New York, would stroll elegantly down pedestrian boulevards and frequent fashionable places. It is said that their exquisite nature and distaste for all things rough and vulgar stemmed from their dismay over a changing world. Specifically, these city dandies were witnessing the industrialization of their environment. This involved a change from a world where rural living was dominant to a world where factories in new urban centers were being rapidly built—with all their belching, polluting coal smoke, as well as their horribly exploited and impoverished workers (ten—twelve hour or more workdays...

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This section contains 684 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An Ideal Husband Study Guide
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An Ideal Husband from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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