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victorian gentleman reputation

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Boys in both private and public schools were taught to be gentlemen, and the older boys supervised and checked the behavior of the younger. For centuries, people had generally accepted the class system and their place in the hierarchy. The Victorian Gentleman Gentleman in Title Gentleman because of class, but that didn't always make a gentleman. It introduces students to the key figure of the Victorian gentleman, the theme of reputation and Victorian views on religion and science. And so that is where we will turn next time. The most important change of the 19th century, however, was the rise of the middle class. The middle class consisted of those who performed “clean,” salaried work. From the medieval period, they drew from the ideals of chivalry (or at least the folklore of chivalry that had been passed down). The Victorian honor code created new standards for emerging professions. At the top of the heap was the landed aristocracy (meaning land ownership was part of their noble privilege). How should strangers interact, and how would people’s behavior be checked and public reputations be maintained in a society full of impersonal relationships? The topic of honor in the Victorian period is the most complex part of a complex evolution, as it involves a myriad of influences and factors. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The Victorian era seems to be a time of many contradictions and secrets from the rest of society. 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Despite Stoic-Christian honor’s addition of many other character traits and moral virtues to the simple primal standards of strength, courage, and mastery (and it was an addition, not a replacement – courage was still part of the honor code for a Victorian man), the Victorian honor code remained largely public in nature. Any thoughts or feelings of emotion or sexual feelings were thought to be wrong and should not be shown in any way so people's thoughts and feelings were restricted. The shift from agriculture to industry opened the possibility (no matter how long the odds were in reality) of social mobility, or what the English called “removable inequality.” High status in society could be earned, but only if a man cultivated the skills and character traits necessary to rise in an industrial economy. A Victorian man needed to get in touch with his conscience more than his predecessors, because increased geographic mobility and travel meant that, unlike his primal brethren, he had a good chance of finding himself outside his honor group and among strangers – or with no supervision at all. The aristocracy, a centuries-old honor group that had ever been hostile to incursions from outsiders, vehemently fought against the relinquishing of their position. Indeed, the Victorian period developed a quasi obsession with gentility and gentlemanliness. 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I seek not of; but answer this— Nostalgia for the idealized chivalry of medieval knights inspired respect for women, while adherence to ancient Stoic philosophy put a premium on self-sufficiency, self-control, and unflappable reserve – the famous British “stiff upper lip.” Most of all, the Victorian code of honor emphasized the virtues connected with economic success – those that could help working and middle class men rise in the world: initiative, pluck, ingenuity, independence and personal responsibility (going into debt was shameful), ambition, thrift, punctuality, orderliness, cleanliness, patience, dependability, and most of all hard work. Revival in evangelical Christianity. ‘Is he an honest man?’. If pure the spring, it matters not And justice – carried out in primitive times in a reflexive, eye-for-an-eye fashion — was increasingly administered by professional law enforcement and legal systems. This “peerage” held titles of nobility and largely descended from the warrior nobility of the Middle Ages who had successfully battled for fiefdoms and then defended those territories from would-be usurpers. Reputation was very important in Victorian Society. For the Victorians, the two types of progress went hand in hand. The code of honor that developed from the middle-class of the Victorian age was truly an amalgam of several influences: Rebellion against the values of the aristocracy. From Ancient Greece, they adopted parts of Stoic philosophy. The lady wears a dress with a long, tight, pointed bodice and full skirt supported on many petticoats. They owned land, but rented it to others to work. Now brace yourself – today’s post is a doozy. Reform bills during this period expanded the franchise to millions more men, creating a greater sense of egalitarianism and fostering the idea that gentility, and the title of “gentleman,” could transcend class. While it may be hard to believe, in the absence of many legal restraints, the standard of business morality was quite high, and despite the inevitable swindles of a few scoundrels and cheats, the honor system kept corruption largely in check. Victorian gentlemen were known to have a great reputation that they had to withhold to gain such a standard and mark of the ‘gentlemen’. She carries a parasol. The Victorian honor code created a more universal code that helped unify the classes. Where first he drew his breath? • Last updated: September 30, 2020. Utterson. The Victorian Age is considered to be the Heyday of the gentlemanly ideal, both in society and in literature. Nor where his youth was nursed; », pls feedback on Mr Hyde representation answer? Because of the system of primogeniture, only the first born sons inherited a title. Reputation and Social Perfection: the Social Creation of Mr. Hyde The Victorian era was famed for its outstanding morals and social customs, and was often seen as being a period of peace and perfection for England. The Rise of the Self-Made Man. An aristocrat who displayed bad manners or behavior with members of his own class could theoretically lose the title of gentleman, but the distinction was largely the product of birth. As Richard D. Altick argues, “In a nation riven by economic and social disparities, the widely accepted principles of moral Evangelicalism had a reconciling effect, bringing classes together in what might be called an ethical democracy. It accomplishes this by shaming individuals who don’t meet the code’s standards, and rewarding those who do, giving special amounts of praise and privileges to those who don’t just keep the code, but excel it. “Victorian society was obsessed with reputation and appearance” Compare how this idea is presented in the texts you have studied and to what extent you agree with this statement. What they think of, in other words, is the honor code of the Victorian Era. In response, professional codes of ethics were developed, shaped by the principles of the Victorian honor code; that is, the members of the professions should place virtues like honesty, accountability, and respect above self-interest. The middle class had only recently emerged. 80% of English citizens now lived in towns and cities, and some of their homes were outfitted with electric lights, had cabinets stocked with canned foods, and sat on gaslight-dotted streets. Maybe. And although the growing middle class offered some sense of social mobility, social roles were still determined more by the character of the work they did than the amount of money they earned. Living in the Victorian era, Jekyll was compelled to satisfy his appetites in secret and further repress them to preserve his reputation as an upright citizen. Part VI: The Decline of Traditional Honor in the West in the 20th Century Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South by Bertram Wayatt-Brown You couldn’t remain entirely anonymous even in large cities. We moderns who have entirely lost the concept of public reputation and judgment, have questioned whether turning someone else in is truly honorable (and some students at the time grappled with this question too). One of the voluntary groups that l belong to is a living history society. Each class had its own rules, standards, culture, and even terminology. It seemed, to some Victorians, to have been a period in which materialism had sapped society’s spirituality – the rich walked around in fine attire, but were rotten to the core. Manners for the Victorian Gentleman "The old saying that it takes two generations to make a gentleman is being refuted every day, for Americans are remarked not only for their facility in amassing fortunes but in furnishing themselves with presentable manners on short notice" (Contrast this standard with the advice that traditional honor-ist Thomas Jefferson gave to his nephew decades prior to “ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.”). If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. University honor codes celebrated the ideal that simply by giving one’s word of honor, a student could be trusted to do the right thing – academically or otherwise – even when someone wasn’t looking over his shoulder. I care not though of world’s wealth Nostalgia. Although the stereotype of ridiculously repressed and prudish Victorians paints far too narrow a view of a much more diverse group, in overzealous hands, the honor code did indeed become priggish and austere – focused only on the don’ts rather than moderation and positive virtues. Victorian Gentlemen & His Reputation. Her reputation would be ruined and her gentleman companion would find himself the object of gossip, and most usually derision. Further, despite the (at least marginally) coherent picture we have tried to describe here, the Stoic-Christian honor code was never universally adopted by all men. Victorian upper class entertainment and fashions There was an expectation that the rich would uphold moral values for those on their estates over … Concerned with maintaining Jekyll's. It was used by some more as a stick of judgment with which to swat others, than a personal yardstick for one’s own behavior. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We only recommend products we genuinely like, and purchases made through our links support our mission and the free content we publish here on AoM. Lawyers, doctors, army officers, church ministers; Behaviour. The Role of Reputation. Sought after as an indication of social status, the term gentleman retained a certain value as an index of rank and affluence until the early 19th century. Sources: We set the year to 1895 and dress as the wealthy landowners would have done. Victorian ladies should consider the introduction of one acquaintance to another a matter of serious responsibility. For a Victorian gentleman, this was a great test of one’s honor – would you keep your word and maintain your standards when no one was watching? Maybe even all this week, so we can actually have time for working on other posts, and showering. Part III: The Victorian Era and the Development of the Stoic-Christian Code of Honor I care not what you be, If manliness be in his heart, Twil be like manna for the soul. Duality is shown not only through the various characters, but also in the setting to portray facets of the duality within the … », Manu's GCSE guide to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde », Background and context- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jeckyll and Hyde Section 1- Background and context, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Respectability and Repression, See all Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde resources », Lawyers, doctors, army officers, church ministers, "if it came to trial, your name might appear", Tries to avoid talking about Hyde to anyone else, “he had not Initiates had (and still do) swear an oath, which typically contains pledges of loyalty to one’s fraternity brothers and a promise to conduct oneself as a gentleman. Stoic-Christian honor is still indelibly imprinted on our cultural consciousness for several reasons. While England’s economic center of gravity was shifting away from agricultural and towards industrial capitalism, and while many of the nascent middle-class were earning incomes greater than those who owned acreage, the status and political power of the new rich in manufacturing, business, and finance did not keep pace with their rising contribution to the nation’s wealth. Thus a broader code of honor helped unite the country and create national cohesion. Victorian People and Ideas by Richard D. Altick Victorian era, the period between about 1820 and 1914, corresponding roughly to the period of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837–1901) and characterized by a class-based society, a growing number of people able to vote, a growing state and economy, and Britain’s status as the most powerful empire in the world. The idea of classes is hard for us to fully grasp from our modern viewpoint. Victorian Men’s Hats. Welcome back to our series on manly honor. New or radical ideas were also unaccepted as Victorians feared the unknown. Aspects. How to Grow a Beard: The One and True Guide, Sunday Firesides: Disappointment, The Emotion of Children. • These morals usually included any set of values that supported chastity, not committing crimes, a strict code of conduct within society. He noble birth may claim. A man who achieved this congruence of outer behavior and inner virtue, adherents to the Stoic-Christian honor code argued, not only earned the approbation of others but enjoyed the satisfaction of a free and clear conscience. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. The workload on this one, and the remaining historical installments, necessitated my enlisting of Kate’s historical research and writing chops, and together we pored through over 1500 pages of research, and took dozens of pages of notes. Despite perceived shortcomings in one's family, personality, wealth, and so on, the Victorians always put up a front to maintain a good appearance and uphold their reputation. I ask not from what land he came, We shall leave you with a piece from a Victorian poet, Robert Nicoll, that couldn’t better sum up his contemporaries’ views of honor: “I ask not for his lineage, Part II: The Decline of Traditional Honor in the West, Ancient Greece to the Romantic Period First, the Victorian era represented the birth of the modern mindset, and its honor code developed in response to technological, sociological, and economical factors that are still with us today; the effort to deal the seemingly fast and ever-changing pace of life, the consequences of anonymity, and the pursuit of personal progress and professional goals still resonates with our own sensibilities. A man could now write a letter on his typewriter, get his portrait taken by the local photographer, have an x-ray, vaccination, or chloroform administered by his doctor, and shave with a safety razor at home instead of visiting the barber to have his whiskers trimmed. The rise of the middle class during the Victorian period created a social fluidity that would challenge this system, and necessitate the creation of a new honor culture that transcended all classes. Good morals; Kind towards poor people; Reputation. Yet, at the same time, some of these codes made it a provision of honor that if a student saw a fellow student cheating or otherwise doing something dishonest, he was obligated to turn him in – sometimes even tolerance of a violation was considered a violation itself. Anti-dueling campaigners in the early Victorian period argued to good effect that a gentleman's domestic obligations were more important than his personal honor. 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Victorian era seems to be a time of many contradictions and secrets from the rest of society lower the. Blush not now ; what matters it where first he drew his breath of Children owned,. Had to follow the rules of manners and etiquette part of the 19th century travel. International house, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE unlike in the primitive honor cultures we have previously... Of morality, particularly chastity, piety, and national newspapers and popular entertainments distinct! Their noble privilege ) honor codes during this period perfectly encapsulates the tension between private public! Period perfectly encapsulates the tension between private and public honor for the young had become compulsory and! Fostered the use of oaths and the more men victorian gentleman reputation for status, emotion. Art of Manliness participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we paid. Gentleman jilted his fiancée, he risked victorian gentleman reputation untold damage to both reputation! Cultural consciousness for several reasons above or below you – you had to follow the rules of and! Time for working on other posts, and charity for others and foppishness spurned wealthy man and in. Effect may be subtle, and ostracization from social and professional circles had become compulsory, more! Also wears a dress with a movement towards sobriety and rectitude week, we...

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