hair powder - a tidbit from Tomalin
Posted by Carolyn B on March 14, 1998 at 16:09:40:
In response to Powdered wigs, written by Miller on March 04, 1998 at 19:44:34
When I read this in Claire Tomalin's JA bio last night, I remembered this question so I thought I would post this (wondering if anyone is still reading this far down the board ; )
late 1795 - civil unrest in England - the threat of bread riots - mutterings of revolution:
[Prime Minister] Pitt decided to raise money [for poor relief] from the middle classes by putting an individual tax on hair powder; the result was effectively to end its use. A few held out, like Edward and Elizabeth Austen - and no doubt George Austen continued to wear his old-fashioned powdered wig - but more followed Frank and Charles, who simply had their dark hair cropped short.
These are Jane's brothers; Tomalin seems to be speculating based primarily on their portraits. Presumably some people may have held on to the use of powder as a symbol of wealth. And there were probably always people who wore wigs (powdered or unpowdered) of varying degrees of natural appearance just like today!
":-) <--that's the "bad rug" emoticon
- Teehee! Caroline 17:54:01 3/14/98 (0)
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