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The Swells Of London part 01

The Swells Of London part 01

Composer: Hunt, G W

Medium: Lithograph, coloured

Date: 1866

Shelfmark: H.1257.(14.)

Item number: Tract (14.)

Genre: Printed Music and Illustrated Cover

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During the 19th Century young men who tried to rise above their class came to be known as 'swells'. Their ideals and aspirations were both mocked and at the same time admired by the popular culture of the period, especially by music hall performers with their exaggerated stage characters. A swell was flamboyant and confident whilst at the same time being stylish and blasé. Music Hall audiences were no longer entirely male, and female performers and impersonators such as W H Barry, poked fun at these social climbers.

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