Victorian celebrity 8th December 2008
When Britney Spears totters from a nightclub at 5am—hair askew, often drunk, often without knickers—we assume her behaviour is terribly modern. Certainly Toby Young, who argues we are “lulled by the celebritariat” (December), seems to think so. But celebrities are not new. Nor is our obsession with them, as Prince Charles’s 60th birthday portrait, modelled on Victorian hero Frederick Burnaby (1842-85), showed. Burnaby is almost totally forgotten, but in his day he was so famous that the Queen reportedly fainted at news of his death. The Times gave him a 5,000-word obituary. Grown men wept…
Register today to continue reading
You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.
You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.
Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.
Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.
Already a subscriber? Log in here