Visualising the aged veteran in nineteenth-century Britain
Memory, masculinity and nation
in Martial masculinities
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This chapter explores the visual and textual representation of the aged veteran during the long nineteenth century. Rather than providing a social historical account of the lived experiences of elderly former soldiers and sailors, it considers how these men were imagined and consumed, how they came to represent the conflicts in which they had fought, and how they were made and remade to accommodate new narratives. The analysis is divided into three main parts. First, it explores the dynamics of remembering and forgetting, showing how, while many aged veterans were indeed forgotten by both the public and the state, the figure of the forgotten veteran was, paradoxically, the subject of considerable literary and artistic meditation. Secondly, it examines the generational qualities of the representation of the aged veteran and the ways in which he was figured as an exemplar and progenitor for the inheritance of military, masculine and moral values. And thirdly, it considers the issues of materiality and performativity, demonstrating how the imaginative power of the aged veteran was shaped by his body, his material adornment and even, on occasion, his public performance.

Martial masculinities

Experiencing and imagining the military in the long nineteenth century

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