Experiencing and imagining the military in the long nineteenth century

This collection explores the role of martial masculinities in shaping nineteenth-century British culture and society in a period framed by two of the greatest wars the world had ever known and punctuated by many smaller conflicts. Bringing together contributions from a diverse range of leading scholars, it offers fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives on an emerging field of study. Chapters in this volume draw on historical, literary, visual and musical sources to demonstrate the centrality of the military and its masculine dimensions in the shaping of Victorian and Edwardian personal and national identities. Focusing on both the experience of military service and its imaginative forms, it examines such topics as bodies and habits, families and domesticity, heroism and chivalry, religion and militarism, and youth and fantasy. The collection is divided into two sections: ‘experiencing’ and ‘imagining’ military masculinities. This division represents the two principal areas of investigation for scholars working in this field. The section on experience considers the realities of military life in this period, and asks to what extent they produced a particular kind of gendered identity. The second section moves on to explore the wider impact of martial masculinities on culture and society, asking whether nineteenth-century Britain can be regarded as a warrior nation. These two sections ultimately demonstrate that the reception, representation and replication of masculine values in Britain during this period was far more complex than might be assumed.

The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century

This book is about the processes and practices through which two differently positioned elites, among the colonisers and the colonised, were constituted respectively as the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali'. It argues that the emerging dynamics between colonial and nationalist politics in the 1880s and 1890s in India is best captured in the logic of colonial masculinity. The figures of the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali' were thus constituted in relation to colonial Indian society as well as to some aspects of late nineteenth-century British society. These aspects of late nineteenth-century British society are the emergence of the 'New Woman', the 'remaking of the working class', the legacy of 'internal colonialism', and the anti-feminist backlash of the 1880s and 1890s. A sustained focus on the imperial constitution of colonial masculinity, therefore, serves also to refine the standard historical scholarship on nineteenth-century British masculinity. The book traces the impact of colonial masculinity in four specific controversies: the 'white mutiny' against the Ilbert Bill in 1883, the official government response to the Native Volunteer movement in 1885, the recommendations of the Public Service Commission of 1886, and the Indian opposition to the Age of Consent Bill in 1891. In this book, the author situates the analysis very specifically in the context of an imperial social formation. In doing so, the author examines colonial masculinity not only in the context of social forces within India, but also as framed by and framing political, economic, and ideological shifts in Britain.

The Public Service Commission, 1886–87

reform in India. Indeed, the Public Service Commission did more than simply ignore native claims to higher employment in the public administration in India. Rather, by reorganising the civil service along the lines of a specifically sectarian definition of colonial masculinity, which simultaneously provided a provincial and religious context for native masculinity and an imperial context for ‘English

in Colonial masculinity
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The Age of Consent controversy, 1891

unprecedented in the history of elite Indian politics. 5 Just as the Anglo-Indian agitation against the Ilbert Bill is credited with consolidating a new mood of aggressivenes in the Anglo-Indian population in India, so also the Indian agitation against the Consent Bill is seen as similarly inaugurating a new phase in the history of elite nationalism in India. The politics of colonial masculinity, however

in Colonial masculinity
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This book is about the processes and practices through which two differently positioned elites, among the colonisers and the colonised, were constituted respectively as the ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’ in nineteenth-century India. In Colonial Masculinity: The ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’ in the late nineteenth century , I

in Colonial masculinity
Tennyson and the enlistment into military masculinity

• 8 • ‘And the individual withers’: Tennyson and the enlistment into military masculinity Lorenzo Servitje Tennyson, peering into the future, was attempting to see great forests – the big picture – without singling out individual trees. He had more luck than most of us today, who seem to find individual trees obscuring our vision. —William Turner When Lieutenant General William Turner, commander of the United States’ large-scale military airlift operations during the Second World War, suggests that Alfred Lord Tennyson aimed to see the larger context rather

in Martial masculinities
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A singing sailor on the Georgian stage

and popularity, Incledon was an especially problematic figure. His complex masculinity was the crux of this problem. Although he presented himself as a brave and respectable British Tar to enhance his performance of manliness in the civilian world, responses to the tenor reveal that this was not always straightforward. Many imagined Incledon in a manner that aligned with an alternative naval archetype – the rough and ready sailor with a penchant for women and grog. Incledon certainly lived up to this reputation too, as his rakish behaviour was widely reported in the

in Martial masculinities
Hero-worship, imperial masculinities and inter-generational ideologies in H. Rider Haggard’s 1880s fiction

• 11 • ‘A story of treasure, war and wild adventure’: hero-worship, imperial masculinities and inter-generational ideologies in H. Rider Haggard’s 1880s fiction Helen Goodman As the Christmas holidays of 1885–86 drew to a close, George Salmon wrote a piece for the Fortnightly Review, pondering the selection of fiction on the market for boys’ presents that year.1 Bound in bright red cloth, emblazoned with gold lettering on the spine and an enticing collection of weaponry on its cover, 2,000 copies of an attractive new book of this kind had appeared on booksellers

in Martial masculinities
The body of the hero in the early nineteenth century

often resorted to eliding physical disability – what she terms ‘invisible amputation’ – so as to create an ‘ideal form’ of ‘heroic masculinity’.4 However, the fact that Paget had lost his leg at Waterloo was widely known in the nineteenth century, not least because the leg had been buried in a marked grave • 17 • Experiencing martial masculinities near the battlefield and the site of the burial visited by innumerable tourists.5 Such attention to (part of) a military body was unusual. True, Nelson’s corpse had been immersed in a barrel of brandy in the aftermath of

in Martial masculinities
Accessible knightly masculinities in children’s Arthuriana, 1903–11

• 10 • ‘Something which every boy can learn’: accessible knightly masculinities in children’s Arthuriana, 1903–11 Elly McCausland In 1909, London literary journal The Academy published an article simply entitled ‘Adventure’. ‘It is a large thing to write of adventure,’ the author acknowledged: So much glamour and romance, such blare of trumpets summoning to arms, such drums throbbing and calling to great deeds are in the wind that a man’s heart must quiver to be up and away upon the road to fortune, leading the regiment of his ambitions and in front of the

in Martial masculinities