tue29jun6:30 pmFeaturedOnline Lecture: The Face of Politeness: Shaving and Masculinity in the Eighteenth CenturyOnline lecture by Dr Alun Withey6:30 pm Book Now

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£3 members/£5 non-members

The eighteenth century was a beardless age. Whereas in previous centuries facial hair had represented male strength and virility, it was the clean-shaven face that now became an essential part of the neat, elegant appearance of the polite gentleman. As well as visiting barbers, this period also saw increasing numbers of men begin to shave themselves, helped on by new, fashionable types of razors and a whole new market for commercial shaving products. What were barbershops like in this period? How did men learn to shave? And were all Georgian men truly clean-shaven? This talk will explore the world of shaving, barbers and cosmetic shaving products in the eighteenth century, and show how they occupy an important place in the history of masculinity.

Dr Alun Withey is an academic historian of early modern medicine and the body, an AHRC/BBC ‘New Generation Thinker’, and a senior lecturer in History at the University of Exeter. He recently completed a major research project ‘Do Beards Matter?’, funded by a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, which formed the basis of his new book Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Practice in England, 1650-1900 (London: Bloomsbury, 2021). His previous research explored the history of medicine in early modern Wales, and he was an associate research fellow on another Wellcome-funded project ‘The Medical World of England, Ireland and Wales, 1550-1715’, also at Exeter. He has previously been a lecturer in history at Swansea University, where he taught a variety of courses on early modern Britain. His other research interests include medical technologies of the eighteenth century, especially razors and shaving and their link to constructions of masculinity and politeness, and the history of the male body more broadly.

The talks starts at 6.30pm. Joining details will be sent to attendees the day before.

Georgian Group members are eligible for a discount on their ticket by entering GGMEMBER at the checkout.

***This talk will be recorded. The recording will be available to all those who have purchased a ticket for a limited period of time after the event takes place***

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(Tuesday) 6:30 pm

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