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A Class Apart

The Military Man in French and British Fiction, 1740–1789


Karen Lacey

The military man has long been one of literature’s archetypal figures. Using a comparative framework, this book traces the transformation of the military man in eighteenth-century British and French literature as this figure moved from noble warrior to nationalised professional in response to changes within the military structure, the role of empire and the impact of an expanding middle class. The author examines the way in which the masculinity of the military man was reimagined at a time when older models of military service persisted alongside emerging models of patriotic nationalism, inspired by bourgeois morality, the cult of sensibility and a new understanding of the role of violence in both public and private domains. Through a corpus of canonical and lesser-known literature, the book explores the military man’s relationship to the state and to his fellow citizens, even in the domestic setting. With the role of the «nobleman» in decline, the military man, not a «civilian» and no longer associated with the ‘aristocrat’, became a separate class of man.
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Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015958242

Cover image: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, illustration for Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa: ‘The duel of Lovelace and Morden’, 1785. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Miss Louisa Dresel in memory of her brother, Ellis Loring Dresel, BR41.32.A-B. Photo: Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College

© Peter Lang AG, European Academic Publishers, Bern 2016 Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland,,

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