Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Man's Estate: Landed Gentry Masculinities 1660-1900

French, H. and Rothery, M. (2012) Man's Estate: Landed Gentry Masculinities 1660-1900. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 9780199576692.

Item Type: Book
Abstract: *One of the first in-depth studies of masculinity within a particular social group - the landed gentry - over a time span of several hundred years *Provides a new conception of the process of change in gender identities over time *Covers a time period that spans existing divides between eighteenth and nineteenth-century studies *Moves away from a reliance on printed literature, and focuses in detail on gentry correspondence *Concentrates on subjective experiences of secondary education, university, travel, and family life Masculinity is an expanding area of gender history. Man's Estate is the first book to focus on a particular social group, the English landed gentry, and to cover a time span of several hundred years. The authors move beyond the study of printed conduct literature, which dominated earlier accounts, by examining the values expressed in family correspondence in order to get closer to social practices. Letters between parents, children, siblings, and other relatives reveal the ways in which masculine norms were produced through everyday interactions and judgements, and help to reconstruct the subjective experiences of elite masculinity in this period. Man's Estate concentrates on four important periods in the life-course for the reproduction of these masculine values: schooling, university, foreign travel, and marriage and family life. These illustrate that there is only limited evidence of sharp-edged differences in values between generations in these families, and that these changes appear not to correspond to the deep 'hegemonic shifts' so often emphasized in existing accounts. French and Rothery suggest that the fundamental distributions of power and authority within Gentry families remained fairly constant. Conventional ideas of male honour, virtue, reputation, and autonomy were remarkably tenacious, and the continued stress on family heritage, dynastic traditions, and the future security of the family patrimony acted as a brake on changes in the training of young English gentlemen. The research is based on over 4,000 letters drawn from 19 landed families across England between c. 1680 and c. 1900, and is the result of a three-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Readership: Academics and students of gender history, cultural history, and social history
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA20 England
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1088 Men
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1176 Social influence. Social pressure > HM1263 Elite
Creators: French, Henry and Rothery, Mark
Funders or Sponsors: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication
Place of Publication: Oxford
Number of Pages: 281
Language: English
ISBN: 9780199576692
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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