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Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900Bodies, Emotion, and Material Culture$
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Joanne Begiato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526128577

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526128584

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Hearts of oak: martial manliness and material culture

Hearts of oak: martial manliness and material culture

(p.101) 3 Hearts of oak: martial manliness and material culture
Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900

Joanne Begiato

Manchester University Press

This chapter brings together bodies, emotions, and objects through the most desirable idealised man of all: the martial man. Fictional and real military men were imagined through emotionalised bodies, with material culture often acting as the point of entry for the cultural work they performed in producing and disseminating manliness. Drawing on the concept of emotional objects, three types of material culture are examined, which inspired feelings that reinforced ideas about idealised manliness. The first group are the artefacts of war and the military, including uniforms, weaponry, battle-field-objects, medals, ships, and regimental colours. The second are the objects encountered at the domestic level including toys, ceramics, and textiles, which depicted martial manliness or had intimate connections with soldiers and sailors. They appealed to all age groups, genders, and social classes, and had a domestic function or ornamental appeal. The third type considered consists of the material culture that celebrity military heroes generated, from consumable products that deployed their names and images, to the monuments that memorialised them, to the very stuff of their bodies. This irresistible nexus of emotionalised bodies and objects prompted affective responses, which disseminated, reinforced, and maintained civilian masculinities. (192 words)

Keywords:   Masculinities, Bodies, Emotions, Material Culture, Soldiers, Sailors, Celebrity military heroes, Emotional objects, War, Ceramics

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