Victorian Cleanliness 1872 Style (Part 2)

“But the man who throws his clothes about the room, a boot in one corner, a cravat in another, and his brushes anywhere, is not a man of good habits. The spirit of order should extend to everything about him.” All quotes are taken from “The Habits of Good Society: A handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen.” If only the writer could see my nails. Broken, uneven, and badly needing my cuticles cut. I exhibit poor habits. Of course, I need to work and am not of the upper crust in England either, so what does it matter that I type all day and break them left and right?  Having clean and long nails was the mark of gentility because it stated you were rich enough that you didn’t have to work. Victorians were told to pay strict attention to the condition of their nails. They should be buffed with soap Read More

Victorian Cleanliness 1872 Style (Part I)

“In the beginning of the present century (19th), it was thought proper for a gentleman to change his undergarment three times a day, and the washing bill of a beau comprised seventy shirts, thirty cravats, and pocket handkerchiefs à discretion.” (The Habits of Good Society 1872) This chapter has been of particular interest to me mostly because of the stories I’ve read about the poor hygiene in centuries past. However, when it came to the Regency and Victorian era, the upper class deemed it important as a sign of good character. Not only cleanliness was a duty for the sake of health and being agreeable to one’s neighbor, but it also went hand-in-hand with obeying the scriptures as a means of exemplifying purity. Poor personal habits by an individual who neglected his body was a sure sign of weak character. The Victorians in 1872, however, thought Beau Brummell’s idea of Read More