Books: Beau's Art

THE DANDY: BRUMMELL TO BEERBOHM (372 pp.)—Ellen Moers—Viking ($6).

The Duke of Wellington approved of elegance, but he felt obliged to advise his splendidly uniformed Grenadier Guards that their behavior was "not only ridiculous but unmilitary" when they rode into battle on a rainy day with their umbrellas raised. Such peacockery startles the 20th century male, who trembles dizzily at the brink of foppishness when he folds a handkerchief into the breast pocket of his sack suit. The rich man of today dresses more plainly, if anything, than his short-form employee, and there are...

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