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Nine Centuries of ManManhood and Masculinity in Scottish History$
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Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth L. Ewan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403894

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403894.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

The Importance and Impossibility of Manhood: Polite and Libertine Masculinities in the Urban Eighteenth Century

The Importance and Impossibility of Manhood: Polite and Libertine Masculinities in the Urban Eighteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.58) 3 The Importance and Impossibility of Manhood: Polite and Libertine Masculinities in the Urban Eighteenth Century
Source:
Nine Centuries of Man
Author(s):

Rosalind Carr

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403894.003.0004

This chapter explores the continuum of polite and libertine expression of manhood in eighteenth-century Scotland through an examination of violence, independence, sexuality and friendship, drawing particularly on life writing by men such as James Boswell and the minister Thomas Sutherland. Shifting ideals of behaviour and sentiment served to assert manhood among different men and individuals could adopt different manly personas ranging from the polite gentleman to the libertine depending on locale and time of day. Among the issues discussed are changing responses to duelling, amended definitions of honour, the importance of economic credit and independence, varied attitudes to the sexuality of women, and the conflicting pulls of virtuous self-governed manhood and the opportunities for sexual licence, both heterosexual and homosexual, provided in the growing towns of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Keywords:   Scotland, masculinity, sexuality, violence, friendship, homosexuality, Edinburgh, James Boswell, honour

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