Military Men of Feeling: Emotion, Touch, and Masculinity in the Crimean War

Hardcover | April 23, 2016

byHolly Furneaux

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Military Men of Feeling considers the popularity of the figure of the gentle soldier in the Victorian period. It traces a persistent narrative swerve from tales of war violence to reparative accounts of soldiers as moral exemplars, homemakers, adopters of children on the battlefield andnurses. This material invites us to think afresh about Victorian masculinity and Victorian militarism. It challenges ideas about the separation of military and domestic life, and about the incommunicability of war experience. Focusing on representations of soldiers' experiences of touch and emotion,the book combines the work of well known writers - including Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Yonge - with previously unstudied writing and craft produced by British soldiers in the Crimean War, 1854-56. The Crimean War was pivotal in shaping British attitudes to military masculinity. A range of media enabled unprecedented public engagement with the progress and infamous "blunders" of the conflict. Soldiers and civilians reflected on appropriate behaviour across ranks, forms of heroism, the physicalsuffering of the troops, administrative management and the need for army reform. The book considers how the military man of feeling contributes to the rethinking of gender roles, class and military hierarchy in the mid-nineteenth century, and how this figure was used in campaigns for reform. Thegentle soldier could also do more bellicose social and political work, disarming anti-war critiques and helping people to feel better about war. This book looks at the difficult mixed politics of this figure. It considers questions, debated in the nineteenth century and which remain urgent today, about the relationship between feeling and action, and the ethics of an emotional response to war. It makes a case for the importance of emotionaland tactile military history, bringing the Victorian military man of feeling into contemporary debates about liberal warriors and soldiers as social workers.

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Military Men of Feeling considers the popularity of the figure of the gentle soldier in the Victorian period. It traces a persistent narrative swerve from tales of war violence to reparative accounts of soldiers as moral exemplars, homemakers, adopters of children on the battlefield andnurses. This material invites us to think afresh a...

Holly Furneaux is a Reader in Victorian Literature at the University of Leicester. She is author of Queer Dickens: Erotics, Families, Masculinities (Oxford University Press, 2009). She is also co-editor, with Sally Ledger, of Dickens in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and editor of John Forster's Life of Dickens (Sterling, ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.01 inPublished:April 23, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198737831

ISBN - 13:9780198737834

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'The company of gentlemen': Thackeray's Military Men of Feeling and Eighteenth-Century Traditions2. Princes of War and of Peace: Secular and Spiritual Redemption in Dickens and Kingsley3. Children of the Regiment: Narratives of Battlefield Adoption4. 'Our poor Colonel loved him as if he had been his own son': Family Feeling in the Crimea5. Sharing the Stuff of War: Soldier Art, Textiles and Tactility6. Reparative Soldiering and its Limits: Cultures of Male Care-GivingReparative Soldiering and its Limits: Cultures of Male Care-GivingBibliography