Abstract

The image of the macaroni in the 1770s acted both as a cautionary tale and a secret exemplar for the rising middle classes, as they debated how to become urbane cosmopolites while remaining authentically British. The medium of caricature was crucial to this debate, since individual portrait caricature not only unmasked the macaroni's inauthenticity, but also, and paradoxically, made a desirable spectacle out of his eccentric individualism. In these caricatural images, the macaroni's hair functioned as a potent and multivalent symbol, representing both fashion and artifice, and blurring the boundaries of gender, class, and nationality. Thus, macaroni caricature in the 1770s was deeply implicated in the contemporary fascination with character and the evolution of the modern self.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 101-117
Launched on MUSE
2004-10-11
Open Access
No
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