The Literary World’s Most Fascinating Dandies, Past and Present

We’ve already called I Am Dandy the fashion book of the fall, but we can’t just leave it at that. It’s impossible to give this topic its due without paying tribute to the Oscar Wildes and the Charles Baudelaires — great writers who also knew the importance of always looking good. That’s why we enlisted I Am Dandy co-author Nathaniel Adams to tell us about his favorite literary dandies, past and present. Click through to read about Adams’ picks.


Lord Byron

Lord Byron was a contemporary of Beau Brummell, the man upon whom the noble title of dandy was first widely bestowed. All dandies descend in some fundamental sense from Beau Brummell, and he was the model for many dandy characters in Regency and early-Victorian literature, including Thomas Henry Lister’s Granby, Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Pelham, and (in part) Byron’s own Don Juan. Byron, who confessed to being a “bit of a dandy” in his youth, once said that the three most important men of his age were Napoleon, Brummell, and himself, and that of the three Brummell was by far the greatest.