False Teeth and Dishonesty in William Makepeace Thackeray’s ‘The Virginians’ (1859)

Header image: A full upper vulcanite denture with porcelain teeth (1880-1920) from Sir Henry Wellcome’s Museum Collection at the Science Museum. In the mid-nineteenth century, the show of teeth in ordinary life began to mean something new. While many edentulous – or toothless – Victorians experienced shame due to widespread tooth loss, with the increasing proliferation of dentists and dental treatments came the lessened desire to conceal broken teeth behind handkerchiefs and fans. Arguably more than ever before, an emerging

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