Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Male anxiety among younger sons of the English landed gentry, 1700-1900

French, H. and Rothery, M. (2018) Male anxiety among younger sons of the English landed gentry, 1700-1900. The Historical Journal. , pp. 1-29. 0018-246X.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Younger sons of the gentry occupied a precarious and unstable position in society. They were born into wealthy and privileged families yet, within the system of primogeniture, were required to make their own way in the world. As elite men their status rested on independence and patriarchal authority, attaining anything less could be deemed a failure. This article explores the way that these pressures on younger sons emerged, at a crucial point in the process of early adulthood, as anxiety on their part and on the part of their families. Using the correspondence of 11 English gentry families across this period we explore the emotion of anxiety in this context: the way that it revealed ‘anxious masculinities’; the way anxiety was traded within an emotional economy; the uses to which anxiety was put. We argue that anxiety was an important and formative emotion within the gentry community and that the expression of anxiety persisted among younger sons and their guardians across this period. We therefore argue for continuity in the anxieties experienced within this emotional community.
Creators: French, Henry and Rothery, Mark
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 2018
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 1-29
Journal or Publication Title: The Historical Journal
Number of Pages: 29
Language: English
ISSN: 0018-246X
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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