Masculinity and Danger on the Eighteenth-Century Grand Tour

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

The Grand Tour, a customary trip through Europe undertaken by British nobility and wealthy landed gentry during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, played an important role in the formation of contemporary notions of elite masculinity. Through an examination of testimonies written by Grand Tourists, tutors, and their families, Sarah Goldsmith argues that the Grand Tour educated young men in a wide variety of skills, virtues, and vices that extended well beyond polite society.

Goldsmith demonstrates that the Grand Tour was a means of constructing Britain’s next generation of leaders. Influenced by aristocratic concepts of honor and inspired by military-style leadership, elite society viewed experiences of danger and hardship as powerfully transformative and therefore as central to constructing masculinity. Scaling mountains, volcanoes, and glaciers, and even encountering war and disease, Grand Tourists willingly tackled a variety of perils. Through her study of these dangers, Goldsmith offers a bold revision of eighteenth-century elite masculine culture and the critical role the Grand Tour played within it.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUniversity of London Press
Number of pages200
ISBN (Print)9781912702220, 9781912702213
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Publication series

NameNew Historical Perspectives
PublisherInstitute of Historical Research

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