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Aristocratic Vice: The Attack on Duelling, Suicide, by Donna T. Andrew

By Donna T. Andrew

Aristocratic Vice examines the outrage against—and makes an attempt to end—the 4 vices linked to the aristocracy in eighteenth-century England: duelling, suicide, adultery, and playing. all the 4, it was once in most cases believed, owed its foundation to delight. Many felt the legislation didn't move some distance adequate to punish these perpetrators who have been participants of the elite. during this interesting new e-book, Andrew explores each one vice’s therapy by means of the click on the time and indicates how a century of public assaults on aristocratic vices promoted a feeling of “class superiority” one of the soon-to-emerge British heart class.

“Donna Andrew maintains to light up the psychological landscapes of eighteenth-century Britain. . . . No historian of the interval has made larger or more advantageous use of the newspaper press as a resource for cultural historical past than she. This booklet is obviously the manufactured from loads of paintings and is probably going to stimulate additional work.”—Joanna Innes, collage of Oxford

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Extra resources for Aristocratic Vice: The Attack on Duelling, Suicide, Adultery, and Gambling in Eighteenth-Century England

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71 Thus all gentlemen, but especially military men, needed to become “polite” members of a new sort of refined social order. Of course, a great deal could be done by rearing. Yet even more central to the creation of a polished, gentle man of honor, was his interaction, the smoothing of his rough edges, by genteel yet delicate, well-educated though modest women. 72 The importance of women’s mission civilatrice made it only more imperative that they retain their natural characteristics, that they guard their femininity, which consisted of both chastity and modesty.

Mandeville had argued that the code of honor was created because of the need for a cadre of men who were willing to fight and die at their country’s call. 68 Good soldiers needed to rely on intelligence, not anger, needed to win in conflict while shedding as little blood as possible. ” And, in an article entitled “Of Honour” in the urbane Gentleman’s Magazine, which reads more like a sermon than a teatable essay, the writer proposed that only men of religion and probity, men who believed in salvation and redemption, could have the sort of cool and deliberate courage that made the best fighting military men.

26 The use of the term “a man of honour” as an ironic device to indicate true honor’s absence, was given an interesting turn in a 1741 essay on honor. Its author argued that there were two sorts of honorable types: the man of honor, who displays his superiority by a “Firmness of Mind, improved by a Train of wise and religious Reflections, and generous Actions, in which personal virtue and real Merit truly consist” and the person of honor, who “may be a prophane, irreligious Libertine, a penurious, proud, revengeful Coward, may insult his Inferiors, oppress his Tenants and Servants, debauch his Neighbours Wives or Daughters, defraud his Creditors, and prostitute his publick Faith for a Protection, may associate with Sots and Drunkards, Sharpers and Gamesters, in order to increase his Fortune.

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