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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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Series index


French Studies of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Edited by Robin Howells, Emeritus Professor of French at Birkbeck, University of London, and James Kearns, Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Exeter

This series publishes the latest research by teachers and researchers working in all the disciplines which constitute French studies in this period, in the form of monographs, revised dissertations, collected papers and conference proceedings. Adhering to the highest academic standards, it provides a vehicle for established scholars with specialised research projects but also encourages younger academics who may be publishing for the first time.

The Editors take a broad view of French studies and intend to examine literary and cultural phenomena of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, excluding the Romantic movement, against their historical, political and social background in all the French-speaking countries.

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