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Romantic opportunity and sexual hazard?

condone such things, should be appointed to protect their own weak ones.3 Her letter caused a sensation, triggering questions in Parliament and a Board of Trade inquiry.4 It underlines how the journey abroad was partly understood as an experience which could threaten women’s moral and sexual purity by placing them, potentially without protection, in a community of largely strangers – most threateningly, amongest strange men. However, there was a duality to popular beliefs about encounters between (Western) male and female journeyers. O’Brien’s letter also titillated

in Women, travel and identity
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engender fundamental change. For Thompson the legacy of Peterloo is that never again was such force MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 8 23/04/2018 15:53 Introduction 9 4  Plaque commemorating the Peterloo Massacre, Manchester. Replacing an earlier plaque that spoke only of the ‘dispersal by the military’. used by the authorities on a peaceful crowd: ‘Since the moral consensus of the nation outlawed the riding down and sabreing of an unarmed crowd, the corollary followed – that the right of the public meeting had been gained.’36 Whether Peterloo was instrumental in

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
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and ships were concurrently perceived to be sites of sexual danger, romantic opportunity and erotic encounters, and spaces that threatened women’s sexual and moral purity. These beliefs were partly witnessed and driven by crime and romance novels. Newspaper reports of attacks on women, particularly of the ‘railway outrage’ at home and abroad, also fuelled these understandings. However, women’s own accounts do not endorse these perceptions of the journey. Only a small minority of the women studied here recorded, more with amusement than disapproval, behaviour towards

in Women, travel and identity

to the Americas and Europe. It is estimated that more than twelve million Africans were taken as slaves between 1500 MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 197 23/04/2018 15:53 198 Ballads and songs of Peterloo and 1867. The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was established in 1787 with the MP William Wilberforce as one of its leading lights. Described as ‘the great moral question of the age’, Debbie Lee questions why slavery is not represented in Romantic poetry. She argues that the rise of the abolition movement coincided with the rise in

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
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and dependent on existing contexts. Social psychological identity theory also defines identity as multi-layered: there are the set of meanings that define a person when they hold a particular role in society (role identity, such as a teacher); when they are a member of a particular group (social identity); or when they claim particular characteristics that identify them as unique, e.g. as a moral or outgoing person (person identity).42 Women’s journeyer identity was similarly diverse, varying according to their social, spatial and discursive setting. Previous

in Women, travel and identity
Making the journey abroad

(explored later in this book) sparked a moral panic that led to a Board of Trade investigation and further reforms: within a year all ships were berthing single women away from other steerage journeyers and major lines also began to provide steerage stewardesses.76 j 31 J women, travel and identity The 1920s saw two further changes in the nature of the maritime journey abroad. Steerage class disappeared altogether with the decline of the migratory trade; it was renamed tourist class, as ship companies targeted the middle-class and professionals as potential new

in Women, travel and identity

rank of slaves and cattle for the service of the few.’21 Despite Godwin’s view, detailed both in Political Justice and Caleb Williams, that chivalry is inseparable from the feudal society from which it originated, many radicals saw that a new age of chivalry had MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 153 23/04/2018 15:53 154 Ballads and songs of Peterloo arrived and seized on the notions of honour and a strict moral code. Many writers were inspired by Richard Hurd’s Letters on Chivalry and Romance, published in 1762, which champions Gothic chivalry as central to

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo

The conditions of individual secularisation described in Chapter 1 posed two sets of moral problems for believers in France and England at that time. The first concerns how human behaviour is to be mapped out if belief in God has become deistic or has collapsed into atheism. The second concerns the alternative moral criteria to counter the anthropocentrism transmitted by individual secularisation. These two sets of problems provide vital perspectives from which to read French and English Catholic literature in the late nineteenth and

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914

philologist Ernest Renan portrayed commitment to science as part of the broader march of progress, unifying every human dimension from the poetic to the moral and the scientific. 6 He made no room within his schema, however, for a divinely revealed religion. The determinism of matter, scientism’s fundamental assumption, characterises most of the writings of Hippolyte Taine, the widely influential historian and critic for whom virtue and vice were as determined as sugar and vitriol. In his Les Philosophes classiques du dix-neuvième siècle en France , Taine poured

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914

The figure of the buffered individual takes on a different meaning when we move from the realms of psychology, moral choice and belief into the public domain. As French and English Catholic writers explore political, social and economic issues, the stakes of secularisation become societal in nature. As we saw in the Introduction, Cavanaugh’s essay on the secular State emphasises two trends of particular note. The first is that theories of politics in the early modern period posited the radical autonomy of the

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914