Beau Nash, born Richard Nash, was a significant historical figure of 18th century Britain, and had one of the most influential roles in managing thespacity of Bath as MasterofCeremonies.Aside fromthemassive influencehehad throughoutthecity,he also played a leadingrole in making Bath themostfashionable resort in England atthetime.
The Life of Richard Nash isquitepossibly themostsuccessful and well-writtenbiography of Richard Nash,written ayearafter his death.Offering information of greathistoricsignificance,it also outlinesthelife ofthewell-known dandy,while introducing hispastbackground while serving inthemilitary and workingasabarrister.
After a far less imposingcareer in anyofthese fields,Nashvirtuallytook overthecity of Bath,leading to agenuinerevolution inthefashion ofthe18th century.Nash wastheone who coordinatedthecity as afashionresort,and led totheselection of 500-600 individuals whowerethe "select company" of Bath.He also decided ifanynewcomers were tobeconsidered suitable to jointheirentourage.
While serving as MasterofCeremonies,Nash was inchargeof organizing manyimportantevents,brokering marriages,regulatinggambling andessentiallydismantling therigidbarriers betweenthesocial classes ofthetime-atleastwithinBath itself.His personal life,gradualdescent and eventualdeath are also portrayedquiteaccurately in thebiographywritten by Oliver Goldsmith.
Althoughmanycritics considerthatGoldsmith's usualwit is absent fromthisbook,theread itself is not meanttobetaken as a fictionalnarrative.Despitethisfact,thecontinuity and dynamicnature of Goldsmith'swritingstyle will undoubtedly keepyouinterested,eventhroughpassages thatotherauthors would not havebeenable to portray in a similarlyfascinatingmanner.
Whether youareinterested in BeanNash as a person,his exploitsandachievements as Master of Ceremonies,or the insandouts of the cityofBath itself,TheLifeofRichardNash willundoubtedlyprove to offer an invaluablereadingexperience.
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