Sunday, 2 October 2011
As I acknowledge in History of Men's Fashion (not a title that I ever wanted), the sub-title What The Well Dressed Man Is Wearing derives from P G Wodehouse's Right-ho! Jeeves, in which Bertie Wooster is prevailed upon by his Aunt Dahlia to write an article for her failing magazine Milady's Boudoir. What I did not know until today is that this is a humorous jibe at the magazine The Lady which, in fact, had declined a Wodehouse story.
The fact that I chose this as a sub-title might have been a clue to the fact that the book was written in a spirit of fun but, instead, legion 'i-gents' (i.e. those concerned with exchanging views over the internet on the minutiae of men's dress and early twentieth century etiquette [that word makes me shudder]), have been at pains to criticize the substance as though it were not written tongue firmly in cheek. This is not to say that I did not strive for reasonable accuracy and a promised second edition will iron out the creases (so to speak) but I sometimes wonder what happened to the British sense of humour.
Today's picture is of the current proprietress of The Lady, Mrs Julia Budworth. The magazine has been in family ownership since it was founded by Thomas Gibson-Bowles in the late nineteenth century (along with the original Vanity Fair magazine). Apparently, Boris Johnson's sister Rachel has been taken onboard to introduce "hip in place of hip-replacement" in a revamping of this magazine ("Butler wanted"), so often found in dentists' and doctors' waiting rooms.
'Debo' Mitford is JB's cousin and appears on the copy of the magazine that she is holding.
Posted by NJS at 10:55