Loughborough University
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'It is virtue and goodness only, that make the true beauty': understanding female beauty in the eighteenth century

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posted on 2015-06-01, 10:16 authored by Katie Aske
This thesis addresses how female beauty was understood in the eighteenth century and aims to build on and expand the existing scholarship from Robert Jones, Tita Chico, Tassie Gwilliam, G. J. Barker-Benfield and Naomi Baker, amongst others. Each of these scholars has discussed various areas of beauty, including taste, cosmetics, sensibility, gender and, for Baker, the opposite to beauty, ugliness. Building on these areas of study, this thesis will address the concept of beauty in both its physical and moral sense. That is, the connection of the beautiful body with the ideas or associations it has come to signify. For example, the beautiful female body usually informs readings of virtue, morality, goodness, but, in some cases, beauty can be read as wantonness, immorality and foolishness. [Continues.]


Loughborough University



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • English and Drama


Loughborough University

Rights holder

© Katherine Aske

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


Bill Overton ; Catie Gill ; Carol Bolton

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral