psychology to structure their management of nurses. Psychological
research supported the notion that the ideal nurse was a combination
of feminine and masculine qualities, largely because psychologists
now considered leadership and an ability to tolerate harrowing sights
as masculine.18 Nurse leaders began to promote qualities associated
with masculinity in order to gain higher status.19 At the same time
notions of femininity lost some of their potency in conversations
about nurses’ risk to illness. Commentators continued to draw on
gendered vulnerability when
masculinity in order to perpetuate the belief in men’s protective role.
In contrast to the limited discussions of pain in the histories of war,
the frequency with which soldiers’ pain is discussed in the nurses’
own testimonies suggests that they placed significant importance on
this aspect of nursing care. One sister wrote of the dreadful state of
the Greek soldiers: ‘mostly cases of frost-bite. They arrived from the
hills of Albania in a terrible state, usually having travelled about seven
days … drugs were administered to those in pain and the urgent cases
intersection of other axes of social identity, including gender,
class and occupation.33 Yet, while studies of artificial limbs have demonstrated
the gendered and sometimes class-based nature of prosthesis consumption,
particularly as symbols of masculinity among Civil War and First World War
soldiers, research on the complex intersectionalities surrounding prosthesis
use is in its infancy.34 The authors in this volume expand on current thinking
on the intersectional identities of prosthesis users. Extending a growing scholarship on female users of Victorian prostheses
Prostheses for women in nineteenth-century literature and commerce
Herschbach, Erin O’Connor and Steven Mihm, for example, demonstrate
the importance of such devices in terms of masculinity.5 O’Connor’s work in
particular is important from a gender perspective as it reveals that prostheses
were perceived as restorative devices that could reinstate a male amputee’s supposedly lost sense of masculinity by making him ‘whole’ and allowing him to
work once more.6
Yet, like depictions of disabled characters in nineteenth-century literature,
the prevalence of disabled females is receiving a growing amount of scholarly
attention. Between them
Popular and personal discourse in the 1960s and 1970s
testimony certainly acknowledged that this was a common practice, despite its effects not always being particularly positive. Such testimony also implied the gendering of stress, as the three men whose accounts are examined in this chapter were all experiencing stress within the context of a specific post-war understanding of masculinity that did not recognise mental distress and thus made it hard for men to acknowledge stress and the fear that came with it.
At the same time, there were other continuities with earlier periods in the way that
. Physically disabled Great War veterans left negligible personal records documenting their experiences.
This problem was manifested for those mentally ill as a result of war service. Mental breakdown carried an additional stigma in the legacy of Victorian masculinity, and the associated shame would have silenced some ashamed to articulate their suffering with others unable to due to illness. Periodic mental breakdowns frequently occurred during the inter-war years but went unrecorded.
Patient work in colonial mental hospitals in South Asia, c. 1818–1948
the Bengallees’.68 As Mrinalini Sinha has shown in her work on Colonial
Masculinity, Bengali men were increasingly represented by the British
as ‘effeminate’ and contrasted with ‘the manly Englishman’ during the
late nineteenth century.69 Similarly, mixed-race or Eurasian patients were
thought to loathe manual labour. According to common British stereotypes they were ‘scribblers’, or ‘crannies’, dedicated to secretarial work, and
therefore they ‘despised all trades, save that of the desk’.70 Eurasian inmates
in the Calcutta asylum, who were seen to
Intemperate working-class husbands and fathers were said to be a destructive influence because of wasted wages and earning power. Leaders thus appealed to men's notions of ‘respectability’ and self-improvement in order to regulate both alcohol use and the meanings of masculinity.
In the 1870s medical organisations, first in the United States, then in Britain, were formed for the study and cure of what they termed the ‘physical disease of inebriety
Victorian middle-class attitudes towards the healthcare of the working
Amy W. Farnbach Pearson
impairment as discrediting for generations to come.
See, for example, P. Joshi, ‘Edwin Chadwick's self-fashioning: professionalism, masculinity, and the Victorian poor’, Victorian Literature and Culture , 32:2 (2004), 353–70.
See, for example, the work of Edwin Chadwick, Hector
11 L. M. E. Goodlad, “Is there a pastor in the “House”? Sanitary reform, professionalism and philanthropy in Dickens’ mid-century Fiction,” Victorian Literature and
Culture, 31:2 (2003), 525–53; M. Brown, ‘ “Like a devoted army”: medicine, heroic
masculinity and the military paradigm in Victorian Britain’, Journal of British
Studies, 49:3 (2010), 592–622.
12 L. M. E. Goodlad, Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and
Governance in a Liberal Society (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
2003), chapter 4.