Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France / Edition 1

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In this study of upper-class masculinity from the of the ancien régime in 1789 to the of World War I, Robert Nye argues that manhood, masculinity, and male sexuality is, like femininity, a cultural construct, comprising a strict set of heroic ideals and codes of honor which few men have been able to realize in practice. In doing so, Nye destabilizes and historicizes the male body, and incorporates gender into the brand of cultural history inaugurated by Norbert Elias in the 1930s.

Author Biography: Robert A. Nye is Horning Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at Oregon State University. He is the author of Crime, Madness, and Politics in Modern France (1984).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Robert Nye...has taken up the daunting challenges of writing about masculinity through a courageously eclectic approach. Few theoretical stones remain unturned...the chronological sweep is no less impressive, from the Old Regime to about 1920....frequently fascinating."—Journal of Modern History

"Robert Nye has written a provocative book. Indeed, if you are interested in understanding the cultural construction of masculinity, this is a book that could change your life."—Journal of the History of Medicine

"The material Nye presents is fascinating, and often amusing...Argued with impressive scholarship, exhaustive mastery of the secondary literature, painstaking examination of method and theory, and careful archival selection."—Times Literary Supplement

"Nye's book...constitutes a significant contribution to the study of masculinity in the 19th century. It reminds us how complex the study of sexuality and masculinity can be, as they remain inextricably tied to virtually every area of human experience."—Committee on Lesbian and Gay History Newsletter

"Nye's work is a fascinating study based on solid archival research and a thorough grasp of the literature...This provocative and often amusing book is a valuable addition to the growing field of male gender history."—Journal of Social History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195046496
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Studies in the History of Sexuality Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. Nye is Horning Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at Oregon State University. He is the author of Crime, Madness, and Politics in Modern France (1984).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Sex, Society, and Identity 3
2 Honor and Male Identity in the Old Regime 15
3 The Roots of Bourgeois Honorability 31
4 Sex Difference and the "Separate Spheres" 47
5 Population, Degeneration, and Reproduction 72
6 Male Sexual Identity and the "Perversions" in the Fin de Siecle 98
7 Bourgeois Sociability and the Point d'Honneur: 1800-1860 127
8 The Culture of the Sword: Manliness and Fencing in the Third Republic 148
9 Honor and the Duel in the Third Republic, 1860-1914 172
Dueling and the Law 173
How Many Duels? 183
The Journalistic Duel 187
The Political Duel 191
The "Serious" Duel 200
The "Futile" Duel 210
10 Conclusion: Courage 216
Notes 229
Bibliography of Selected Secondary Works 297
Index 311
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