By Erin Mackie
Erin Mackie explores the shared histories of the trendy well mannered English gentleman and different much less good yet no much less celebrated eighteenth-century masculine varieties: the rake, the highwayman, and the pirate.
Mackie strains the emergence of those personality forms to the 17th and early eighteenth centuries, whilst conventional aristocratic authority used to be more and more challenged. She argues that the improvement of the trendy well mannered gentleman as a male archetype can basically be totally comprehended whilst thought of along figures of fallen the Aristocracy, which, even though legal, have been additionally glamorous adequate to augment a similar ideological order.
In Evelina’s Lord Orville, Clarissa’s Lovelace, Rookwood’s Dick Turpin, and Caleb Williams's Falkland, Mackie reads the tale of the correct gentleman along that of the outlaw, revealing the parallel lives of those probably contradictory characters. Synthesizing the histories of masculinity, manners, and radicalism, Rakes, Highwaymen, and Pirates deals a clean standpoint at the eighteenth-century aristocratic male.
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Erin Mackie explores the shared histories of the trendy well mannered English gentleman and different much less good yet no much less celebrated eighteenth-century masculine kinds: the rake, the highwayman, and the pirate. Mackie lines the emergence of those personality kinds to the 17th and early eighteenth centuries, while conventional aristocratic authority was once more and more challenged.
Extra resources for Rakes, Highwaymen, and Pirates: The Making of the Modern Gentleman in the Eighteenth Century
I had been an Offender as well as [had the tutor],” reflects Jack, “tho’ not altogether in the same Degree, but I knew nothing of the Penitence; neither had I look’d back upon any thing as a Crime: but as a Life dishonourable, and not like a Gentleman” (162). ” Jack’s reasoning that his past deeds were “dishonourable, and not like a Gentleman” proves tautological. ” Furthermore, although, removing the negatives, the syntax here connects “honor” to “gentleman,” this relation is purely conjunctive, a juxtaposition, not hierarchical, a cause.
As the bases of masculine authority and prestige shift, they take with them much of the ground on which elite license staked its claim. The rake’s outlaw status, then, is generated by what remains to him after the assault on his prestige by emerging reconfigurations of the polite gentleman and the foundational notions of subjective authenticity that underwrite them. And what remains is a kind of allure both outdated in its association with the pre-1688 Stuart world and updated in its revision around privileges authorized more immediately by gender than by status.
In chapter 3, I look at one example of how a popular stage type, the gentleman highwayman Macheath, works within the imagination of one distinct individual, James Boswell. The London Journal records the internalization of this fictional character in Boswell’s personal subjectivity in ways that maintain both its stereotypical generality and its specific relevance to Boswell’s own psyche and circumstance. So we see how the public and culturally conven- Historicizing Masculinityâ•…â•… 23 tional may be integrated with the private and psychically specific, how reading character becomes inseparable from reading stereotypes.