Read e-book online Aristocratic Vice: The Attack on Duelling, Suicide, PDF

By Donna T. Andrew

ISBN-10: 0300184336

ISBN-13: 9780300184334

Aristocratic Vice examines the outrage against—and makes an attempt to end—the 4 vices linked to the aristocracy in eighteenth-century England: duelling, suicide, adultery, and playing. all of the 4, it was once typically believed, owed its beginning to delight. Many felt the legislation didn't move a ways adequate to punish these perpetrators who have been contributors of the elite. during this interesting new ebook, Andrew explores each one vice’s therapy by way of the clicking on the time and indicates how a century of public assaults on aristocratic vices promoted a feeling of “class superiority” one of the soon-to-emerge British heart class.

“Donna Andrew keeps to light up the psychological landscapes of eighteenth-century Britain. . . . No historian of the interval has made larger or more desirable use of the newspaper press as a resource for cultural background than she. This publication is obviously the made from loads of paintings and is probably going to stimulate extra work.”—Joanna Innes, collage of Oxford

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Additional info for Aristocratic Vice: The Attack on Duelling, Suicide, Adultery, and Gambling in Eighteenth-Century England

Example text

The man of noble stature was a man of power, of self-direction and self-control. He was recognizable by the “easiness” of his demeanor; his behavior was cool though courteous, and his word was his bond. ”66 The ability to remain calm when challenged or insulted, the element of control, this mental and psychological steadfastness, came to be seen as at least as important as physical bravery. Which polished man of the world would wish his main virtue, it was asked, to be that in which a brute beast might well outstrip him?

70 What qualities would make up this refined and modern soldier? In addition to that self-possession already discussed, he would need a certain panache, a careless generosity, an easy refinement, and a well-developed though modest eloquence. Like all true gentlemen, the polished soldier needed to be able to get on in civilian life as well as on the battlefield. Like all true gentlemen, the soldier needed to be “well-bred”; breeding in this sense had much more to do with nurture than lineage. ”71 Thus all gentlemen, but especially military men, needed to become “polite” members of a new sort of refined social order.

73 Of course, in committing adultery, a woman not only gave up all potential for influence but, by implicitly denying the absolute property her husband had in her person, threatened all property relationships. ”74 But by mid-century, there is some evidence that the toleration of adultery in both men and women was coming under attack. In a sermon entitled The heinous sins of ADULTERY and FORNICATION, considered and represented, in a SERMON, Alexander Jephson spoke of the mutual need for men and women to be true to their marriage vows: “And therefore, whenever a married Man or Woman forsakes each other’s Company, thro’ their Love and Affection to a Stranger, they are not only false in their own Word and Promise, .

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Aristocratic Vice: The Attack on Duelling, Suicide, Adultery, and Gambling in Eighteenth-Century England by Donna T. Andrew


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