2/03/2020

Against the Young Fogeys

"Victorian menswear, then, is for Dawson the ugly and unnatural expression of a cruel and inhuman culture. And Dawson was hardly alone in his opinions. Tolkien quotes Dawson’s assessment with approval in “On Fairy Stories”; for him, the “full Victorian panoply” is part of the ugly, mechanistic modernity that Fantasy helps us escape. Tolkien’s hostility towards refined fashion is, perhaps, not too surprising: as Humphrey Carpenter notes, both Lewis and Tolkien practiced a deliberate indifference to fashion; Michael White claims that both friends “frowned on any form of stylish or fashionable dress.”"