Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Occasions that call for Handel's "Messiah"

Hang the streamers! Let fly the confetti! Cue the choirs of the angelic host with tabors, pipes, fifes, drums, harps, and cymbals! Find me an 18th-century German to compose a breathtakingly majestic oratorio! The dissertation is finished!

Finished. Fin. Terminado. Fertig. Gorffen. Done.

The final touches were put on this morning: the spelling checked, the footnotes proof-read, the bibliography completed. All the Greek has been correctly translated, all the hairstyles adequately described, all the trade card illustrations related in detail, and all the hairdressers mentioned by name. Well...almost all of them.

What started off as a paper on the simple topic of hair became a paper on how hair reflected the Neo-classical movement in Georgian England. That paper became - after a confidence-savaging meeting with my advisor - a paper on how the visual symbols of Neo-classicism were used by hairdressers in Georgian England from 1780-1815. I discussed what classicism and Neo-classicism were, what men's and women's hairstyles looked like at the time, the descriptions of hairstyles in fashion magazines, the use of snivelling language in advertisements, and a short poem written by hairdresser Alexander Stewart on his rage at the Hair Powder Tax of 1795.

Did you know the modern business card dates back beyond the 1700s? Check this article on the V&A website. Much as I was writing about hairdressing and not printing, it was really interesting having studied techniques like mezzotint, stipple engraving, and etching last year.

Did you know that the modern fashion magazine has its roots in the late Georgian era? I'll write a post about that one soon. How about the fact that some hairstyles in the 1770s and 1780s used to include such random items as model ships and wax vegetables? It's true! This particular blog, BibliOdyssey, was a goldmine of contemporary caricature prints and other printed sources. (The post in the link has some spectacular caricature prints of the sort of tiny-ship/wax-veg hair I'm talking about.)

Looks like it's now off to Mailboxes Etc. for some highly extortionate printing and binding. Hey; at least it means I'm finished!

Pictures: 10
Sources: 36
Pages: 55
Footnotes: 129
Words: 14,929
Taking my dissertation to be printed: Priceless.

No comments:

Post a Comment