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Martial MasculinitiesExperiencing and Imagining the Military in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Michael Brown, Anna Maria Barry, and Joanne Begatio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526135629

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526135636

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Burying Lord Uxbridge’s leg: the body of the hero in the early nineteenth century

Burying Lord Uxbridge’s leg: the body of the hero in the early nineteenth century

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Burying Lord Uxbridge’s leg: the body of the hero in the early nineteenth century
Source:
Martial Masculinities
Author(s):

Julia Banister

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526135636.00008

This chapter reveals how manliness was conveyed through beautiful, virile, male bodies. Such appealing male figures and faces were associated with positive emotions that were coded as both manly and moral. This chapter explores their changing forms over time, shaped by modernity, sport, anthropometry and physiognomy, but also addresses the role of male beauty in disseminating ideals of manliness. It takes a queer history approach which deliberately makes strange the conjunction between physical beauty and masculine values. It rejects assumptions about normative masculinities and how they were created and circulated and instead adopts the techniques of scholarship that queers sexual constructions. Overall, it proposes that beautiful male forms and appearances were intended to arouse desire for the gender that these bodies bore. This nuances our understanding of the gaze. It shows that the idealised manly body was active, since it was an agent of prized gender values. Yet, it was also passive, as the erotic object of a female and male desirous gaze, and subordinate, for although some of the descriptions of idealised male bodies in this chapter were elite, many manly and unmanly bodies were those of white working-class men. (191 words)

Keywords:   Manliness, Bodies, Emotions, Gaze, Desire, Working-class men, Beauty, Modernity, Physiognomy, Sport

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