Saturday, June 6, 1710
‘A stage-coach sets out exactly at six from Nando’s coffee-house to Mr. Tiptoe’s dancing-school. And returns at eleven every evening, for one shilling and four-pence.
‘N.B. Dancing shoes not exceeding four inches in height in the heels, and periwigs not exceeding three feet in length, are carried in the coach-box gratis.”
As Shakespeare didn’t, but undoubtedly meant, to say, “If all the world’s a stage, then let’s dress like it.” At the end of the day, how do you dress if you live in a hierarchical society bulging at the seams? Some say out—panniers, wires or swords, and some say up--heels and wigs or hats (?). Steele’s’ acidic advertisement in 1710 points to the foibles men will go to impress themselves and everyone else. Well, as Tripping Knob, a famous, but undocumented dancer of the 1710s put it, “I may not have the power of the Monarch, a Duke, a General or Councillor of State, but by g-d I can be taller than all of them combined. If all these persons of rank want land and space here and abroad, shouldn’t I be able to colonize some space at home?”
|Men's Mules circa 1710, Bata Museum|
|Admiral George Churchill, by Godfrey Kneller|
Jeff Hopper is an author, editor and manager of the Warner House
Perhaps this will be a summer of looking at wigs and heels and things that make your space, my space à la the 18th C.