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Inter-personal violence between men has often been accepted as a ubiquitous feature of male relationships in the past, and the contexts in which that violence was perpetrated is seen to reveal something about the mentalities and social roles of men in past societies. This article considers the social practices of masculinity and the acting out of codes of manhood in the context of Highland Scotland in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries – a period of significant economic and social change. Based primarily on the scrutiny of legal records relating to cases of violent assault involving men of the middling and lower classes from across the Highland counties, this article suggests that the everyday practice of Highland manhood was subject to taming, as the expressions of manhood appropriate for a society at war were gradually rejected as inappropriate for a society of commerce and civility. While customary forms of violence in pursuit of the restitution of honour continued to have some legitimacy until the early nineteenth century, especially in the rural Highlands, in Inverness a new model of disciplined masculinity was applied to male behaviour, offering a glimpse at new sensibilities around inter-personal violence that were to enter Highland society more generally in the following decades.
|Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:||Abrams, Professor Lynn|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain|
|College/School:||College of Arts > School of Humanities > History|
|Journal Name:||Scottish Historical Review|
|Publisher:||Edinburgh University Press|
|Published Online:||April 2013|
|Copyright Holders:||Copyright © 2013 Edinburgh University Press|
|First Published:||First published in Scottish Historical Review 92(1)100-122|
|Publisher Policy:||Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher|