Intertwined with almost every significant aspect of social life, i.e. politics, love, but also drinking or gambling, dueling was a constant leitmotif in the complex symphony of European history. It proved persistent enough to survive centuries from its earliest emergence as the barbarian custom of judicial combat until its most choreographic versions of affairs of honor in the modern age. However, as Renaissance certainly marks the apogee of the dueling practice, it is within the civic culture of the early eighteenth century that it became the privileged site for the study of relocation of public violence into the broader context of modern civility. This is of particular relevance for what concerns English cultural history where the increasing role of the printing press, along with the reconfiguration of the ideals of reputation and masculine honor, resulted in a significant change in the way disputes were conducted and resolved. In what follows I will investigate the metamorphosis of the duel of honor in English modernity showing how these bloodstained affairs of honor can actually be seen as a structural element of the civilizing process. I will start by briefly outlining the history of the custom of dueling in Western culture in its inherent symbolic connotations of performance of manly honor. I will proceed by highlighting the role of The Taltler and The Spectator in reconciling the ambiguities of such practice in early eighteenth century public debate thus leading to the emergence of a whole British nationalistic ideology of dueling that would contrast French cultural hegemony in matters of fashion and social trends.

Rituals of Honor: Duels and Politeness in the Long Eighteenth Century

federica perazzini
Primo
2022

Abstract

Intertwined with almost every significant aspect of social life, i.e. politics, love, but also drinking or gambling, dueling was a constant leitmotif in the complex symphony of European history. It proved persistent enough to survive centuries from its earliest emergence as the barbarian custom of judicial combat until its most choreographic versions of affairs of honor in the modern age. However, as Renaissance certainly marks the apogee of the dueling practice, it is within the civic culture of the early eighteenth century that it became the privileged site for the study of relocation of public violence into the broader context of modern civility. This is of particular relevance for what concerns English cultural history where the increasing role of the printing press, along with the reconfiguration of the ideals of reputation and masculine honor, resulted in a significant change in the way disputes were conducted and resolved. In what follows I will investigate the metamorphosis of the duel of honor in English modernity showing how these bloodstained affairs of honor can actually be seen as a structural element of the civilizing process. I will start by briefly outlining the history of the custom of dueling in Western culture in its inherent symbolic connotations of performance of manly honor. I will proceed by highlighting the role of The Taltler and The Spectator in reconciling the ambiguities of such practice in early eighteenth century public debate thus leading to the emergence of a whole British nationalistic ideology of dueling that would contrast French cultural hegemony in matters of fashion and social trends.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1651289
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