Manliness and the "morality of field sports": E. A. Freeman and Anthony Trollope, 1869-71.
THIS ARTICLE AIMS to make a twofold contribution. First, it adds to the now-flourishing field of the history of masculinity in modern Britain, asking some new questions of the category of manliness and suggesting some nuanced answers. Second, and in close connection to this, the article addresses a gap in the current literature on the history of human-animal relations. This field has had a long association with feminism, but little has been said with regard to its importance for the history of masculinities. By demonstrating a connection between constructions of cruelty and constructions of manliness, one can gain an appreciation of the importance that animals might have in the history of human relations. The case in question is a debate that took place in the media, spanning the winters of 1869-70 and 1870-71, on the ethics of field sports and foxhunting in particular. A full understanding of this debate requires a preliminary explication of the principle of "manliness," especially in the light of its recent disfavor among historians of gender.
Studies of nineteenth-century masculinities have abounded in recent years, supported by a vast intellectual methodology largely borrowed from sociologists and cultural theorists. (1) Historians had long been aware of the existence and importance of "manliness" as a key feature of the Victorian cognitive style, but the proliferation of studies on masculinity, drawing on theoretical methodologies outside of the discipline of history, saw manliness fall by the wayside as a viable category of analysis. There are numerous criticisms. John Tosh goes so far as to say that "manliness" provides "no scope for exploring the meanings given to sexual identity and sexual desire which are fundamental to masculinity." (2) Further, "manliness" does not get to the heart of masculinity, dwelling on codes of character rather than on the more important categories of body and gender relations as a whole. It does not reveal essential relations between men and women. "Manliness" obscures our view of gender relations because of its implicit connection to only one narrowly defined social class (the elite). "Manliness" was a self-referential, although important, part of the rhetorical frame of reference of only a small sector of society. It tells us a great deal about elite male aspirations, but not much about gender. (3)
These criticisms have been made in the cause of promoting the study of masculinities, with all the accoutrements of the gender theorist's toolbox. And to this end, analytical studies of British masculinities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have done a great service to scholarship in the field. We know more about male bodies, both physically and culturally perceived, than ever before; the possibilities for revision in all subcategories of British history, from political cultures to domesticity to arenas of war, seem endless and worthwhile. (4) Yet manliness, I will argue, remains a useful tool for describing nuanced categories of male gender relations in the nineteenth century, partly because nineteenth-century people did just that. Theoretical approaches to "masculinities," while offering exciting new ways to remember men and to re-member the male, nevertheless sit uncomfortably in the historical discipline when used as tools for scrutinizing cultures that did not have access to this neologism. Masculinity theory has a real value in exploring how we might see male relationships in pre-twentieth-century history. However, it does not aid us in investigating how they understood their gender and how it related to other types of men and to different types of women. Unless the analytical insights of masculinity theory are balanced by an awareness of historical and cultural specificity, there will always be a risk of anachronism. The historian may well claim that she or he is better positioned to make sense of macro-gender relations in the past from the vantage point of the present (with the help of all the concomitant analytical language), but it does not seem right to do so at the expense of how past actors viewed their own gender relations. "Manliness" may not serve the purposes of gender historians, but that does not render it unuseful. On the contrary, it should serve as a reminder that we are perhaps not asking the right questions.
To that end, those criticisms outlined earlier can be met head-on. Tosh's claim that manliness does not shed light on the sexual factors inherent in masculine identity formation may perhaps be right, but it misses the important point that sexual practice in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain need not necessarily be integral to identity construction, in part at least because public and private identities were sharply segregated. (5) There are countless examples of "manly" men whose private indulgences were "suspicious," yet who in public retained a normative manly status. The historiography of homosexuality insists that the intersection of sexual preference and identity formation only came into bud around the time of the trials of Oscar Wilde. (6) Indeed, before Wilde's trials, he was widely reputed to be a manly man and, of course, was married. The kind of impact caused by the revelation of Wilde's private sexual life certainly affected his manly status, but Wilde was an exceptional case. For most men, the ways in which they represented themselves and were perceived by others in public did not hinge on sexuality. Certainly in the (public) debates over manliness and hunting that follow, sexuality hardly registers.
Downplaying the sexual aspect of gender allows the "character" element of male identity to come to the fore. I argue that character (in Victorian terms this included "pluck," "spirit," honor, courage, piety, and honesty) had much greater importance and significance to Victorian men than bodily prowess, even at the zenith of the "muscular Christian" movement. To focus on bodies and physical relations misses this crucial element.
I think it is also justifiable to put sex to one side with regard to relations between men and women, not to dismiss its importance, but merely to say that it is not always relevant. Manliness had long been opposed to effeminacy, and both terms could be applied to both sexes. Each label carried a loaded judgment of character only discernible by the context in which it was deployed. Outside of physical and sexual relations, therefore, manliness has much left to reveal about the dynamics of gender relations in Victorian Britain.
To dismiss manliness because it refers only to one social group is shortsighted. Even early works on manliness demonstrated that the term was in active use from the lower-middle classes to the high aristocracy, and I argue that it also gained currency in certain working-class contexts/Its ubiquity ought to suggest that it must have been differently construed at different times and places and by different groups. Much like R. W. Connell's insistence that there are always masculinities rather than a single masculinity, it seems obvious to expect multiple "manlinesses" too, but defined by character-based qualities, as distinct from physical and sexual ones. This article does not explore this wider social usage of the term "manliness" but focuses rather more tightly on its usage within the intellectual elite. To demonstrate the contestation of the meaning of manliness within just one social group ought to prove that the term really does say something about male-to-male relations. It was not that the term was so fluid as to be devoid of meaning. Rather, as the negotiations of E. A. Freeman and Anthony Trollope in succeeding discussions will show, one strongly rendered definition of the term could be in complete contradistinction to another, equally meaningful one. Furthermore, that these differences occurred within the group that would be described by the masculinity analysts as the site of "hegemonic masculinity" suggests that this terminology is subject to slippage. Pointing out the underlying structure of society as a whole risks losing the interpersonal dynamics of society's day-to-day functioning. Historians really ought to be looking at both.
What, then, made a manly man? The answer, as the foregoing ought to suggest, was never obvious, and manliness (much like masculinity) resists a clear definition. The category had many readily identifiable and apparently contradictory forms. These arose through Godliness and good learning, or Christian manliness (which put mind before body), "muscular Christianity" (which arguably put body before mind), and the cult of athleticism, games, and sporting ideals (motivated by the dreams and realities of empire). Many of these forms are attributed to the influence of the public schools, youth movements, and the gradual dissemination of the manly esprit de corps to the rest of society. (8) Historians have marked a shift from Christian manliness to the other, more muscular forms after mid-century, but this wide-angle view overlooks many of the aspects of manliness that were constantly being negotiated. This article aims to expose just one such strand of negotiation and the ways in which it was intricately intertwined with other complex social and cultural issues.
The general historiographical trend in histories of masculinity has highlighted a shift, sometime around 1850-60, from conversational, polite, intellectual, domesticated, and spiritual forms of manliness to stoic, robust, bodily, extra-familial, imperial manliness: in short, from Christian manliness to muscular Christianity (and often muscularity by itself). (9) The trend has been particularly noted in studies of masculinity and sport. (10) As with all generalizations of this nature, the reality was much more equivocal, and it remains an important job for historians to address this period in detail. (11) In searching for the ways in which formations of masculinity changed, important continuities have been overlooked. This article reveals constructions of manliness that do not easily conform to the standard typologies. I hope the complicated picture here will lead to further revision in the field.
The history of human-animal relations in modern Britain has been well documented, but needs revision. The detailed studies of Robert Malcolmson and Brian Harrison in the early 1970s still retain value, but their social control arguments do not fit with the preoccupations of current scholarship. (12) Even some of the most recent work on the subject remains, ultimately, in the "social control" idiom despite efforts to break away. (13) The complexity of cultural relations remains lost in a story of subordination and enforced change. Likewise, the wonderful study by Harriet Ritvo only hints at the possibilities for cultural or gendered histories of "the animal estate" while providing a detailed social and political account. (14) Much of the recent literature by animal rights philosophers makes an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary human-animal relations, but its political position often renders its historical element unsatisfactorily anachronistic. (15) Only Rod Preece has tried to address this imbalance, but his assessment is grim:
[t]he disconcerting reality is that the academic field of animals and civilization is strewn with holier than history attitudes whereby all was dark and dismal until our modern-day heroes strode onto the field of honour and announced for the first time the rights of animals and our obligatory respect for them. (16)
Some significant progress was made in linking up the field of animal rights with the field of equal rights for women. (17) But the political bent of this relationship does not lend itself to aiding historical inquiries into gender, for the same reason that animal rights advocacy by itself tends to get in the way of dispassionate history. The study of men in the context of human-animal relations first requires the dismissal of the automatic correlation between patriarchy and cruelty to animals that the converse relationship of feminism and animal rights seems to imply. This article proposes to demonstrate that competing modes of manliness related to animals in different ways and that a firm historical relationship between male dominance (which could, problematically, be described as hegemonic masculinity) and dominion over nature should not be taken for granted. It may be argued that this kind of relationship did win out in this case, but not without some serious dissent from different types of men.
Hunting had long been a site of "manliness." The idea of man the hunter--the now-discredited anthropological/archaeological thesis that considered hunting (and therefore man as opposed to woman) as a precursor of culture--was a common vernacular theme in the nineteenth century. (18) Even the refined and highly ritualized hunting of the British elite had not disassociated itself from this sociobiological interpretation. "The love of the chase may be said to be screwed into the soul of man by the noble hand of nature," wrote R. Dorvill in 1833. (19) Hunting, according to this thesis, relied not so much on tradition as on a biologically determined programming that specified that men should hunt. The idea of a morally celebrated "nature" was deeply embedded in the culture of nineteenth-century hunting. That this was thought to be peculiarly British fostered naturalistic notions of imperialism and racial hierarchy: "[h]unting was at the same time a mark of the fitness of the dominant race, a route to health, strength, and wealth, an emblem of imperial rule, and an allegory of human affairs." (20) Andrea Smalley recently warned that despite the empirical debunking of "Man-the-Hunter," a "'deep association' between men and hunting remains a familiar component of historical analytical frameworks, especially those that investigate masculinity." (21) We need to repose popular ideas of the "hunter hypothesis" and ask how influential they were in forming attitudes to both hunting and gender relations at specific historical junctures. The idea that hunting was the natural occupation of men has an importance for understanding the ways in which past cultures have operated that goes beyond the question of whether or not the idea had any actual merit in those cultures.
The principle that hunting men were of a "different sort," an assertion made in Parliament by the doyen of the early nineteenth-century humane movement, Richard Martin, lingered in the social and political consciences of those who thought about cruelty, and occasionally reformers asked if this aspect, in itself, was justification enough for ignoring the obvious cruelty that occurred in the field. Much of the discourse of cruelty in the early nineteenth century was anchored in the language of manliness, arising out of political debate. (22) Acts of cruelty were defined by something outside of the simple relationship between man and animal. Men who pitted dogs against one another, for example, were thought by the agents of reform, a priori, as bad men: the actions of bad men were cruel. Men who chased the fox were, a priori, gentlemen: the actions of gentlemen could not be cruel. The "politics of cruelty" depended not only on what action was being done to an animal, but also on who was doing it and why. Of course, in reality, dogfighting men and foxhunting men could be one and the same, but the rhetorical distinction carried more weight than observable reality. This prominence of language over reality goes some way towards explaining how the relationship of hunting and manliness was at its height between 1870 and 1914, at the same time that the sport witnessed a dramatic growth in the number of female hunters. It also accounts, in part, for the deployment of an idealized manliness to combat cruelty to animals that otherwise might not easily be reconciled with the contemporaneous feminization of the humane movement. (23)
EARLY DEBATES ON CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
There are many potential entry points for the scholar of hunting, and such an important cultural phenomenon awaits its master historian. (24) The relationship between men and hunting was already strong in the eighteenth century, on both sides of the debate concerning hunting's morality. Thomas Fairfax's Complete Sportsman, first published in 1760, had already formulated the divine relationship of man and hunting that rendered him "Lord of the Creation" because nothing supported "the dignity of a man more than a thorough acquaintance with the diversions of the field." (25) Peter Beckford responded to criticism that he was perpetuating cruelties in his Thoughts on Hunting of 1781 with the claim that "the occupations of few gentlemen will admit of nice scrutiny; occupations, therefore, that amuse, and are at the same time innocent; that promote exercise and conduce to health ... are not [trifles] to those who enjoy them." (26) Other historians have noticed the relationship. David Itzkowitz pointed out that foxhunting was "looked upon as the symbol of the uniquely British manliness that enabled the nation to maintain its world prestige in peace and war," and Linda Colley stressed its importance "as another expression of the new patriotic, patrician machismo." (27)
Critics of the chase can be found in the eighteenth century, although perhaps these are best described, in John Passmore's words, as "men of unusual sensibility." (28) Of these, Jeremy Bentham is usually the one remembered, having suggested that the only consideration for ascribing legal protection to anyone, including animals, was the capacity to suffer. (29) This therefore included foxes and deer, as well as cocks, bulls, and dogs. (30) Bentham aside, Thomas Young, a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, was one of the first to denounce field sports in general. Yet he did so "with a kind of dread," for he had to confront "customs, fashion, and inclination; with Physicians, Moralists, Legislators, and Divines." (31) His objection took the form of shame: "I pity their taste, who, amidst the infinite variety of pleasures which the country and the fields supply, are obliged to have recourse to sports which communicate their gratification through the pain and destruction of inferior natures." (32) Nevertheless, Young could not help but also be an apologist for the sports, and was resigned to the notion that this was what men did. "If cruel diversions must be retained," he said, "it were to be wished that at least they may be reckoned fit only for the men." (33) Young's objection seemed only to extend to the dangers these sports held for women. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the manliness of hunting, it conceded that it was widely perceived to be manly in such a way that no amount of moral persuasion could penetrate.
Outside the world of print, opponents of field sports usually found themselves decried by popular opinion, although for every farmer who complained of trespass or damage, one can assume that many more remained silently aggrieved. The most notable case, one that actually came to court, was Essex v Capel in 1809. This was really a feud between brothers but took the form of a trespass and damage case against a group of foxhunters. The complaint was upheld and set a legal precedent allowing landholders the right to refuse entry onto their land. While the judge, Lord Ellenborough, stopped short of denouncing foxhunting as cruel, he did note that "no man could for a moment suppose that [foxhunters] had anything but their own pleasures in view." (34) Hunting's status as a manly pursuit, as opposed to a method of pest control, was effectively enshrined in law by this decision.
Cruelty to animals became a political issue in 1800. The first cruelty to animals bill, in that year, was designed to prevent bull baiting and was resubmitted after its initial failure in 1802 only to fail again. The first general cruelty to animals bill was in 1809 but failed in the Commons, having passed the Lords. The first bill to become law occurred in 1822. For the protection of "Cattle," it paved the way for a more broad-brush legislation in 1835. (35) Hunting was part of the debate from the start and was used, in the first instance, to defend the "sports of the million." How could politicians contemplate prohibiting bull baiting if their own pastimes were not to be subjected to scrutiny? This argument, propounded by William Windham, will occupy us further in due course.
The early parliamentary debates, as well as their reception in the press, were colored by the language of manliness, either to defend heroic traditions or to decry acts of cruelty. The increase in political discourse on animals made the ground fertile for the formation of the Royal (after 1840) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in 1824). (36) I have treated the history of the RSPCA elsewhere, but as a demonstration of the persistence of the relationship between manliness and cruelty to animals, I need only cite the Earl of Harrowby, who chaired the annual meeting of the society in 1864. He considered that,
[T]hey put their own claims too low when they simply spoke of their Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: in fact, when they regarded it as one for protecting animals without considering in how great a measure it also protected man from the commission of acts of cruelty; for it often happened that the evil inflicted by the perpetration of cruelty to animals was in itself far more mischievous to the man himself than to the animal, while nothing contributed more to dignify the character of man than kindness to the brute creation. (37)
By 1835, the principal objections to a law against animal cruelty had been surmounted, and it became a criminal offense in a limited fashion. (38) This law did not include foxes or other beasts of venery (animals chased in the hunt). On one occasion, a case of cruelty to a fox was brought before a court, but the Master of the Vine Hounds, Marsh (who had cut the leg off a fox and then set it loose to be hunted), was acquitted on the basis that "the Act of Parliament did not recognize the fox as being a domestic animal." Nevertheless, the magistrates had no doubt that "an act of very gross cruelty had been perpetrated." Marsh was subsequently ostracized by the local landowning community, who refused him and his hounds entry to their land. These notables included the principal landowner in the district of Kingsclere, the fourth Earl of Carnarvon, who also happened to be a significant patron of the RSPCA. (39) Where there was misdemeanor in the upper echelons of society, social pressure effectively removed the need for legislation.
The law, in its sporting remit, was required to target those activities associated with unsavory social settings, crime, and unspeakable men. Those who hunted were obviously exempt. To exclude hunting from the law was "natural," in keeping with notions of "man the hunter." To prohibit it would have been unthinkable, and indeed, such a measure would have kept the law off the statute books. (40) Further attempts to denounce hunting met with a historically predictable response. John Styles embarrassed the SPCA, which had too many hunting patrons to come out openly against the sport, by including hunting in his SPCA-sponsored prize-winning condemnation of animal cruelty in 1839. His mode of attack is noteworthy for its gendered approach:
But it is manly, forsooth, to hunt; manliness, I should suppose, implies some mode of action that becomes a man. Hunting might formerly, for aught I know, have been a manly exercise, when the country was overrun with boars and wolves, and it was a public service to extirpate them. But to honour with the name of manliness the cruel practice of pursuing timid animals to put them to death merely for amusement, is, in my opinion, perverting the meaning of words. (41)
Yet Styles made no real impression on the sporting world, and his only notices in the press were unfavorable. Grantley Berkeley, a Gloucestershire MP, answered Styles in equally gendered terms, claiming that
[u]nless muscular display and the rivalry of gallant spirits were encouraged, the limbs and hearts of the sons of England would fail when in front of the foreign foe, and the established religion itself be lost, and that from remote causes, originating in the sickly assertions of erroneous doctrines of men affecting to be the healthful physicians and saviours of the soul. (42)
The Sporting Magazine agreed, urging the SPCA not to join "the pseudo-philanthropists of the day, and decry and interfere with all existing sports and recreations." Styles's work typified the "canting casuistry which would discountenance all sports, however healthful or manly." (43) This summed up the mood and expressed the limits of any notion of cruelty to animals, at least in a sporting context. It would be thirty years before the mood began to change.
FIELD SPORTS DENOUNCED: MANLINESS IN QUESTION
In 1869, Edward Augustus Freeman wrote an article for the Fortnightly Review that would gain him more recognition (even if it was notoriety rather than fame) than anything else he ever wrote. (44) This article has largely been forgotten despite its philosophical importance for the "politics of cruelty" and despite the stir it caused in the foxhunting world. "The Morality of Field Sports" sparked a national controversy, involving some of the literary luminaries of the land, and caused foxhunting to be ethically scrutinized to a degree hitherto unseen.
When Freeman denounced field sports, he did so, unsurprisingly, with the help of the historian's craft. William Windham, a leading figure in the "Ministry of all the Talents" and an eloquent and un-mincing orator, had denounced a private member's Bill in 1800 to prohibit bull baiting. His chief tactic had been to make a direct comparison of hunting with bull baiting and to suggest that banning one would throw light onto the iniquities of the other, which surely the sponsors of the Bill would not want. In a speech laden with irony, Windham asked "if there was no cruelty in hunting." Would those who panted for "the honour of being in at the death" wish to provide the lower classes with the opportunity to expose their "ferocious dispositions?" (45)
In 1800, Windham had successfully argued his point, and the attempt to legislate on cruelty to animals was thrown out. By 1869, cruelty to animals had become illegal, and Windham's argument, so it seemed to Freeman, ought to be turned on its head: "From the admitted right to torture a fox Windham inferred the right to torture a bull. From the admitted sin of torturing the bull I infer the sin of torturing the fox." (46) Cruelty, for Freeman, was defined by the action done to an animal. There were questions of degree, certainly, and he was at pains to explain that he did not think bull baiting and foxhunting were the same. But in their essence--the torture and ultimate death of an animal--they were alike.
History was the key for making sense of this. Freeman postulated a theory that argued for the mutability of the category of manliness. Changes to what constituted manly behavior fostered changes in sensibility and notions of cruelty. Freeman felt that such a change was occurring, and with it, field sports would (or should) become outmoded: "[t]hey call hunting and shooting noble and manly sports," he said, "[b]ut Windham was also a high-minded and cultivated man, and Windham rejoiced in sports which he deemed noble and manly, but from which the modern fox-hunter turns away in disgust." (47) Freeman drew a direct line between "the savage amusements of ancient heathens" and the "manly and gallant sports of high-minded and refined English gentlemen." (48) Over time, each leisurely pursuit had become subject to changing sensibilities; each had fallen out of favor with polite society. There seemed no philosophical reason why field sports ought not to be subject to the same forces of history and to the "march of civilization." Freeman did not "despair of a day coming when an English gentleman will look with the same disgust on the diversions of the present age with which he now looks on the diversions of the days of Windham." (49) Sensibility was historically contingent: cruelty had always occurred, but recognizing cruelty depended on which "stage" of sensibility had been reached.
Freeman's thesis was advanced. In venturing to decry field sports he had had to deconstruct cruelty. He had also to deconstruct manliness, demonstrating an insightful appreciation of the unfixed nature of masculine virtues. At the time, these were subjects unfit for academic history, but they still created a political stir. "It has always been a puzzle," Freeman noted, "how a refined or educated man can find pleasure in taking on himself the functions of the butcher." (50) His condemnation struck at the heart of the informal networks of the nation's elite. The benefits of hunting--fresh air, good company, skill in riding, etc.--could be had by other means. The danger involved in the sport--the pluck necessary to ride to the death--was its raison d'etre. This observation castigated the foxhunting community as "savage" and at the same time subverted the dominant construction of manliness, of which hunting was an integral part. Freeman opined: "[t]he risk of these sports, and the supposed manliness of facing that risk, is generally put forth as one of their merits ... but the manly sport of fox-hunting seems to me not to be manly at all, but to be at once cowardly and fool-hardy." (51)
Freeman, and indeed this whole debate, can be located within (although perhaps on the fringes of) a wider social phenomenon. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century "march of civilization" saw social investigators "developing new views on the nature of physical aggression, debating and redrawing the boundaries of legitimate interpersonal behavior and linking violence to the structures of English social life." Violence, some have argued, was "invented." (52) Martin Wiener agrees that "new forms of 'violence' are continually discovered" and that the nineteenth century was noteworthy for the convergence of novel problems concerning violence, the workings of law, and the meaning of gender. (53) In other contexts, older forms of robust or violent male behavior may have given way to the "man of feeling," but in targeting the quality of character of those who executed the perceived maltreatment of foxes, Freeman provoked a powerful response. (54) Classifying hunting as a "violent" act could itself appeal to the "march of civilization."
Anthony Trollope may have been a likely candidate to respond to Freeman's allegations wherever Freeman's article had appeared. That it had appeared in the Fortnightly Review, a journal founded by Trollope, added personal injury to the insult. Trollope remembered that he regarded its publication "almost as a rising of a child against the father" and felt bound to answer Freeman's charges. (55)
Trollope's passion for hunting was well-known. He had compiled a book on the subject entitled Hunting Sketches in 1865 and had edited another collection on British Sports and Pastimes in 1868. Trollope's endorsement of foxhunting assumed eighteenth-century characteristics, lauding the form of the hunter over the substance of the sport. The field was the mis en scene for chivalric display, preferably without the presence of women, unless they were prepared to go without asking for help. Such an exemplar of politesse was the hunting man, that his absolute compulsion to open gates for women rather got in the way of the "elegance" of the pursuit. (56) All men, according to Trollope, should hunt whether they liked it or not. Those who did not like it took pleasure in "conspicuous boots [that were] eloquent with a thousand tongues." Such men placed themselves "in the vanguard of society by thus shining in [their] apparel." (57) For those who did like the sport, much of the time was spent in "vanity and vexation," although this assessment was given without disdain. (58) Indeed, this seems to have formed part of the charm for Trollope. As to those who were opposed to hunting men, their representation of hunting men as drunkards, "fast," and "unclean" was erroneous. Men who hunted were, for Trollope, "not more iniquitous than men who go out fishing, or play dominoes, or dig in their gardens." (59)
In addition, Trollope sponsored the view that hunting was a bearer of "national efficiency," making Englishmen "what they are" and keeping them that way. The influence of hunting stretched to both sexes, including those who did not hunt. Yet it was limited to British shores, being completely "incapable of exportation" because it was formed by the "peculiarities of the people with whom it has originated." (60)
These views accorded with general literary opinion of the time. Robert Surtees similarly characterized the hunting world in many novels, the most notable being Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour in 1853. He also edited the Sporting Magazine from 1838. Mr. Sponge was a cad, but his boots were first-rate, and his trousers were perfectly fitted. Not one of Surtees's characters was a manly character, but in the hunting field, all at least gave the appearance that they were. (61)
This was the backdrop to Trollope's world, and Freeman had stormed the stage. Trollope immediately begged the permission of the editor of the Fortnightly Review for space in which to respond. Trollope was keen to contradict Freeman's slur on the manhood of foxhunters by challenging the manhood of Freeman's "type." Whereas Freeman asserted that hunting men could not be manly because they were cruel, Trollope defended hunting and denied its cruelty because the men who did it were manly, unlike "In]on-sporting men ... who are decidedly opposed to sport,--do not know what sport is. They are like some old ladies ... who, living down in the country, think that a London club means drunkenness, gambling and wickedness." (62) Having denounced Freeman's manhood, he went on to romanticize his own and that of foxhunters. For Trollope, manliness (and therefore hunting) was art in conversation: politesse. (63) This is somewhat surprising, given the more accepted notions of stoicism and reticence that are usually identified with the manly gentleman at this time. Gallantry typified Trollope's ideal foxhunting man, as well as delicacy and impeccable morals and tastes. His kind of manly man does not exactly fit the model historians have come to expect. He observed that
Men are thrown together who would not otherwise meet, and converse on all subjects common to men. Politics are discussed, and agriculture, social habits, the affairs of the country, the preservation of foxes, the enmity of this enmity to the sport, and the devoted friendship of that friend. Perhaps of all the delights of the hunting field conversation is the most general.... City-men learn country lore, and country-men are told the ways of cities. All these are things "quae possunt esse homini polito delectatio." (64)
Misquoting Cicero, Trollope thought that all these things enabled men to live a life of refined pleasures. These were men who had no interest in the death of a fox. That it happened was inconsequential. Throwing the philosophy of William Windham back from whence it was resurrected (and mocking the historian's craft in the process), Trollope denied that bull baiting and foxhunting were the same. Bull baiting relied on a visual cruelty--the assembled crowd were witnesses to the event. In foxhunting, most men were not present on the death of the fox: "The one scene came palpably before the senses in all its horrid details, and did harden the heart. The other offers no other ostensible evidence of the animal's destruction than a bit of fur hanging to a hound's mouth, or a bloody jaw." (65) Cruelty, for Trollope, was only relevant if it acted reflexively on the heart of men, an idea that dated back at least to Thomas Aquinas and was particularly in vogue throughout the eighteenth century. By proving that men in the hunting field were refined, delicate, and (presumably) soft-hearted, Trollope could disprove the presence of any cruelty. Whereas Freeman highlighted the torture and death of the fox as the principal cruelty of the sport, Trollope could dismiss this because hardly anybody was witness to it. He postulated the theory that should an amusement be devised that could indulge "all England" at the cost of one human life, the cost would be justifiable. "But the human life would have been excellently well spared if a tortured fox could have been made to stand in its stead. With such a result, who would regret the tortured fox?" (66) After all, hounds hunting foxes was "natural" and in "compliance with an instinct given by God" in much the same way that a cat chases a mouse or a fox hunts a rabbit. (67) The only real object in question was to disprove Freeman's claim that foxhunting men were unmanly.
FREEMAN V. TROLLOPE: A NATIONAL DEBATE
Mr. Trollope's morality, I must say, seems to me a little like the prudence of the ostrich. The cruelty is done with Mr. Trollope's knowledge and sanction, and for his gratification, for the fox is "done to death for the gratification of a hundred sportsmen," of whom I presume Mr. Trollope is one. But, so long as Mr. Trollope turns away his head and does not look at the cruelty, he holds that he has no share in it. (68)
Freeman thus addressed Trollope's rejoinder in The Daily Telegraph. Despite the charge that "milksops and bookworms" would not know what "manly sport" was, Freeman stuck firmly to his historical insights. As in Elizabethan times bear bating had been defended by the cry of "manly sport" and likewise bull baiting in Windham's time, it is unsurprising, although "nothing to the purpose," that the same cry should now be heard in favor of foxhunting. "What Mr. Trollope really means," Freeman opined, "is that many refined and educated men do hunt and shoot; therefore, hunting and shooting cannot be such very bad things." This did not interest Freeman in the least, for "if a thing can be shown to be wrong in itself, it makes no difference whatever who does it." (69) For Trollope, a thing could only be shown to be wrong by direct reference to the person doing it.
The appearance of Freeman's reply in The Telegraph provided the forum for others to join in, largely to Freeman's discredit. It also projected the issue onto a national scale, with further comment appearing in The Pall Mall Gazette, The Sporting Magazine, The Times, and The Manchester Guardian. Newspapers and journals could refer to the "morality of hunting" issue and feel assured that the public would know what they meant. Freeman had incited the ire of the foxhunting community and enlisted (involuntarily) the support of some of the intellectual elite. What began as a discussion among writers was appropriated by the general public as fair game.
Punch magazine made the most of Freeman's article, publishing an illustration to ridicule it on 26 February 1870 (see Figure 1). The "Cruel Old Countryman" begs the "Heartless Destroyer of Foxes" to catch the fox that day because the poor man and his wife can no longer afford to keep feeding it. This appeal to the traditional "pest-control" defense of foxhunting contained an implicit awareness of the slipperiness of the category of cruelty, as well as that of manliness. The "Heartless" one on this occasion would have not looked out of place in a novel by Surtees, or Trollope for that matter.
A different line of argument was put forward by a correspondent to the Telegraph, under the nom de plume of "Reynard," who wrote in the character of a fox ironically to congratulate Freeman on his humanity. Nevertheless, the necessity of preserving foxes in order to ensure successful hunting was even more humane: "[t]he oldest fox in the wood was asked his opinion first, and he said he always felt most grateful to the sport of fox-hunting, as he considered it the only guarantee for his preservation." (70) As such, Freeman's charge of cruelty was clearly misplaced. More common than denials of cruelty were vigorous defenses of the manly virtues of foxhunting men. If anything, it was Freeman and his type who were "limp" and of "flexible ... back-bones." Their intrusion into a world they did not understand was in itself an un-virtuous, "cruel and vicious" attack. (71) For foxhunting men, the charge of cruelty impugned their manhood, and such a charge was therefore the greater act of cruelty. As these epistles proliferated, so the two camps drifted further apart in the purpose of their respective arguments. Another writer in The Telegraph, for example, asked: "Does fox-hunting bring out the 'specialities' of a man's temper or disposition? I say it does, most emphatically." (72) And in The Guardian, Earl Winchilsea noted that foxes had to be hunted because they "alone can cope with [man] in point of intellect and sagacity, and put him to all his shifts." (73) Cruelty and humanity, for those who hunted, was a question of character. For Freeman, this was still nothing to the purpose.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Yet the tide of opinion was not emphatically against Freeman. Helen Taylor weighed into the debate with a scathing attack on Trollope's reasoning. (74) Taylor, daughter of Harriet and stepdaughter of John Stuart Mill, was a significant figure in the women's suffrage movement. (75) Her insistence that this was not really about men or manliness, but about immorality and cruelty, added gravity to Freeman's original charge. She demonstrated what she saw as the irrelevancy of the position of foxhunting men apropos their male virtues. Certainly, this was an opportunity to critique an oppressive form of male chauvinism, but this was secondary to the importance of revealing what the veneer of virtue allowed men to get away with. She refuted the argument that, as she paraphrased it, "Fox hunting cannot be unfit for 'polite men,' since English gentlemen do it" by stressing that "all English gentlemen are not gentle, nor fox-hunters the gentlest among them." (76) The equation was quite simple:
One of two things is clear: either that men might enjoy all the pleasures of fox-hunting without hunting foxes, or that the pleasure of fox-hunting is in the excitement of the chase.... Either fox-hunting is immoral, because an unnecessarily cruel way of procuring enjoyments which men might contrive to obtain in a more innocent form; or else it is in its essence cruel--that is to say, it is a pleasure derived from the fact that pain is inflicted. (77)
As for Trollope, Taylor ridiculed his reasoning, claiming never to have heard a "more ludicrous parody of special Providence ... than that his scent was given to the fox expressly to give men and dogs the pleasure of hunting him." Trollope, she thought, wanted to include among the manly delights the lessons of the cat and mouse and the dog and fox. Surely, she opined, he would be better leaving "barking and biting to dogs." (78) At no point, interestingly enough, does anyone countenance the idea of the foxhunting woman, even though from about this time there was an increase in the number of women taking part, albeit not fully. According to Longrigg, "a lady riding astride was unheard of before 1914" in most places, and riding sidesaddle was disapproved of because it slowed down the pace and risked injury to the rider in long, weighted skirts. Raymond Carr suggests that the most symbolic change that afforded women acceptability in the field came in 1859 when the wife of Lord Yarborough's heir hunted with considerable accomplishment. (79) Yet the sport remained defined by its manliness; its chief protagonists were men. That women took part did not change the existence of the cruelty involved in the minds of the opponents (if anything it might have made it seem worse); that women took part was irrelevant to those who spoke in the sport's favor.
Taylor's exposure of the thinness of the male veneer of politesse was developed by The Pall Mall Gazette, which came out firmly to support her, putting the gender factor back into the equation in so doing. (80) She had proven, as far as that paper was concerned, that the "contrast sometimes drawn between woman's logic, all assertion and sentiment, and the more rigid and philosophical reasoning of the other sex" could be reversed. The Gazette synthesized Taylor's critique with the original argument put forward by Freeman, claiming that authority over the rest of the animal kingdom was based on the [hu]man's capacity to enjoy "the aesthetic, the moral, and the intellectual portions of his nature." If, in this age of civilization, men sought for their amusements the cultivation of "their crueller instincts," then this could be nothing but "degrading." Even if the enjoyment was derived from the excitement of the chase rather than the torture, "then the enjoyment is in a cruel passion, however disguised and decorated by pleasant and innocent accessories." (81)
The Pall Mall Gazette tried to rationalize both sides of the argument in a further article. It concluded that "A man whose pleasure in hunting would be poisoned by thinking of the price at which it is bought would be so far a better man than one who could remain perfectly callous; and therefore we should say that if humanity spreads, fox-hunting will become more offensive to sensitive minds." (82) The foxhunters' assertion that hunting could not be cruel because it was manly was inverted. Foxhunting was, in the final analysis, cruel, and therefore it could not be manly.
It was Freeman who was to have the last word on the matter, although it would prove to be rather hollow. He attacked the RSPCA for staying out of the debate, drawing attention to the presence of many "sporting men" among its subscribers. (83) He allowed that "hunting and war are essentially the same thing," but turned this usually positive analogy on its head, remarking that "hunting is simply war waged against beasts instead of men." (84) This was not military training--the playground of future heroes--but the dirty and horrific scene of battle. If field sports "produce all manner of good results ... perhaps summed up under the one word 'manliness'.... It is surely open to me to hold that they possess those qualities, not because of their hunting, but in spite of it, and that they would be better and nobler still did they not hunt." (85)
Trollope asked the editor of the Fortnightly Review, John Morley (later Viscount Morley), for a rejoinder but was refused because the editor's "sympathies were all with Mr Freeman." (86) Indeed, it seems likely that Morley contributed the antihunting stance to the Pall Mall Gazette. His relationship with John Stuart Mill and his known position on hunting--he referred to "Freemanian views on cruelty" and said later in life that "if I ever write anything more I think it will be a tract against field sports"--do suggest that Morley worked the press to suffocate Trollope's position. (87) The intellectual elite seemed persuaded by the cruelty argument, but in some ways this was the result of personal relationships and manipulations. Mill himself, a known supporter of animal rights who refused to endorse the RSPCA on the basis that it did not encompass beasts of venery in its aegis, wrote to Morley honoring Freeman. (88) He had "broken ground--a thing I have been often tempted to do myself, but having so many unpopular causes already on my hands, thought it wiser not to provoke fresh hostility." (89) Mill had, of course, stated his claim for the rights of animals and the duty of the State to protect them in his Principles of Political Economy, but he had not (much like Bentham before him) written a full-length account of the extent to which animals should be protected and the political and social implications of so doing. (90) Freeman really had gone further in this regard, the previous lengthy works that attacked hunting having been limited in their philosophical scope. When, in 1839, John Styles had come out against hunting with his Animal Creation, he had been widely ridiculed. That debate had followed similar lines to this one in 1869-71 but had failed to engage the intellectual elite or the serious press, or to make any impression on the foxhunting community more broadly. (91) With such influential backers as Morley, Mill, and Taylor, it is unsurprising that Freeman's argument carried so much weight. What is surprising is that Freeman's impact has been as little remembered as that of Styles.
In terms of creating or influencing popular opinion on the matter, The Pall Mall Gazette perhaps had it right when it wrote that "few converts have been made, but some very shrewd blows have been given and taken." (92) Ultimately, the debate about foxhunting had entered the political and cultural conscience of the nation and had engaged the intellectual elite, the foxhunting community, and the general public at large in serious discussion of the subject for the first time. The lines of battle had been drawn; the positions had been assumed; nothing had actually changed.
The chief consequence seems to have been to throw doubt over the meaning of manliness and the direction it was apparently taking. Freeman, with the help of Taylor and others, had defended an ideology of manliness that the historiography of this period suggests was already defunct. This was a manliness that celebrated intellect, compassion, and reason over exertion, display, and bodily courage. Trollope's mode of manliness had been exposed for just what he, and Surtees before him, had claimed of it: shiny boots and eloquence, but little substance. This could be interpreted as a feminization of the humane movement, but in important ways it was a reappropriation of the language of manliness in order to masculinize the humane movement in a new way.
The fate of foxhunting seemed uncertain, if only briefly. The Sporting Magazine, the principal organ of the chase, thought that Freeman had "done the Noble Science some service. He has aroused the energies of vast numbers who do not participate in the national sport, but who are the more sensibly awakened to its importance." (93 The institution of hunting--the value of field sports for society--had been recapitulated; the period after 1870 was indeed the Indian summer of the sport. (94) Yet there were also new forces afoot that sat uncomfortably with hunting's increasing popularity. The Times declared that this was a new age, "which is beginning to speculate whether fox-hunting ought to be relinquished as a cruel sport," (95) and the sixth edition of Robert Vyner's celebrated Notitia Venatica: A Treatise on Fox-Hunting published in 1871 contained a new preface containing the following lament
That Foxhunting may flourish for ever ought to be the wish and prayer of all real Englishmen, but I greatly fear that the impulsive ardour for it amongst the rising generation is visibly on the wane. Amidst those numerous obstacles to which the decline of real hunting in all its branches may be attributed ... [is] the decline of all the good old John Bull character which was not only the foundation, but the upholding of all our original national sports and pastimes. (96)
Playing the manly Englishman, from that point forward, was no longer quite enough to explain away an increasingly precise definition of "cruelty," which was becoming the preoccupation of certain quarters of the intellectual elite. Nevertheless, even though MacMillan's Magazine allowed that the balance of argument had been "in favour of the assailants," it could not help but point out that "Melton was never so full." (97) And in Punch, the final word was a mockery of "cruelty" and the sarcastic dismissal of Freeman (see Figure 2).
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Norbert Elias argued that foxhunting represented the "civilizing process" in sport because of the physical absence of men from the scene of violence. (98) Foxhunting exemplified a lowering of the threshold of acceptable public displays of violent conduct, codifying and camouflaging its brutality in symbolism and ritual. How can one conceive of acts of cruelty when, according to Heidi Dahles, hunting is only "truly pleasurable ... if it allows at least a cognitive reversal of the asymmetrical power relations between humans and animals, attributing almost human characteristics to the game-species?" (99) Not only are hounds said to "speak" with distinctive "voices," but they were often deemed "noble" or "refined," with qualities of "skill, hunting instincts, speed, endurance, and courage." (100)In other words, the hounds exemplified the qualities of the huntsmen, who practiced conversation and who honed military skills in the field of "battle." Hunting was a contest between equals: a match of wits. It could not be cruel because cruelty implied power and dominance over lesser animals. While the fox often may have been vilified by the hunting community, few ever doubted its sagacity. Ultimately, the highly developed brand of English foxhunting could boast to itself that it was refined--a good example to society--and that its protagonists were the chiefs among men. Although ritualization served to distinguish these men from other men (in Elias's classic model, the courtly from the noncourtly), (101) it did not change the ultimate nature of the act. Freeman had singled out the act of cruelty and tried to treat it independently of foxhunting's rituals. In so doing, he had been left with no other choice but to target its claim to manliness. Once such a notion of cruelty--one that depended entirely upon the consideration of the treatment of animals or a notion of their "rights"--had developed, then the opponents of field sports could justifiably label foxhunters as unmanly. As long as the hunters refused to acknowledge this construction of cruelty, then this charge was redundant because their manliness was, to them, without question. J. Carter Wood argued that the "creation of a civilized mentality of violence resulted in the discernment of new and varied threats to refined society as some previously acceptable behaviour was redefined as savagery." (102) Freeman had attempted just such a redefinition, but hunting managed to retain its popularity and its status as a "civilized" activity, largely through its claim of fostering manliness.
There are two important points to take from this, more generally. First, manliness was a key concept in gender relations among men, even within a homologous social group. It justified actions and provided the principal ammunition for attacks against the character and lifestyles of other men. Historians will lose too much if they cease to recognize this notion, favoring instead the language of masculinities by itself without reference to manliness. Masculinity theory, which stresses the vertical relations of domination and subordination among men, would point out the structural similarity of men in homologous groups, which, of course, is still analytically useful. But in so doing, it runs the risk of simplifying male-to-male relations configured horizontally without any apparent domination or subordination. Second, manliness seems completely intertwined with other concepts struggling for definition, in this case "cruelty." The early history of debates on cruelty to animals used manliness to help define the essence of a cruel act based on who committed the act and under what circumstances. The Freeman-Trollope debate crystallized this relationship, with Freeman claiming that foxhunting could not be manly because it was cruel and with Trollope claiming that it could not be cruel because it was manly. Shifts in human-animal relations therefore mirror changing standards of human behavior, with important implications for the study of gender. The same can also be said in reverse: that shifting ground in the history of gender relations had implications for the ways in which humans have conceptualized their treatment of animals.
(1.) See, for example, R. W. Connell, Masculinities (Cambridge: Polity, 1995); Harry Brod, ed., The Making of Masculinities: The New Men's Studies (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1987); John Beynon, Masculinities and Culture (Buckingham: Open University, 2001); Arthur Brittan, Masculinity and Power (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989).
(2.) John Tosh, "What Should Historians Do With Masculinity? Reflections on Nineteenth-Century Britain," History Workshop Journal 38 (1994): 179-202, quote at 181.
(3.) Ibid., 180-83; Martin Francis, "The Domestication of the Male? Recent Research on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century British Masculinity," Historical Journal 45 (2002): 63752, esp. 638-39.
(4.) Of note here are, respectively, Matthew McCormack, ed., Public Men: Political Masculinities in Modern Britain, 1700-2000 (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Tosh, A Man's Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (New Haven, Conn. and London: Yale University Press, 1999); Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain and the Great War (London: Reaktion Books, 1996).
(5.) Jeffrey Weeks's classic Coming out: Homosexual Politics in Britain, From the Nineteenth Century to the Present (London: Quartet Books, 1977) is still useful in this regard, as well as in many others. See pp. 2-4.
(6.) For Wilde, and an introduction to the historiography of homosexuality, see Ed Cohen, Talk on the Wilde Side: Towards a Genealogy of a Discourse on Male Sexualities (New York and London: Routledge, 1993), and Alan Sinfield, The Wilde Century: Effeminacy, Oscar Wilde and the Queer Moment (London: Cassell, 1994).
(7.) Cf. John Springhall, "Building Character in the British Boy: The Attempt to Extend Christian Manliness to Working Class Adolescents, 1880-1914," in Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800-1940, ed. J. A. Mangan and James Walvin (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), 52-74.
(8.) Allen Warren, "Popular Manliness: Baden-Powell, Scouting and the Development of Manly Character," in Manliness and Morality, ed. Mangan and Walvin, 199-219; J. R. de S. Honey, Tom Brown's Universe: The Development of the Victorian Public School (London: Millington, 1977); J. A. Mangan, Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School: The Emergence and Consolidation of an Educational Ideology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
(9.) The classic and still useful text here is David Newsome, Godliness and Good Learning: Four Studies on a Victorian Ideal (London: John Murray, 1961). See also David Alderson, Mansex Fine: Religion, Manliness and Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century British Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), 58-59; Norman Vance, The Sinews of the Spirit: The Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and Religious Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
(10.) Mangan, "'Muscular, Militaristic and Manly': The British Middle-Class Hero as Moral Messenger," in European Heroes: Myth, Identity, Sport, ed. Richard Holt, J. A. Mangan, and Pierre Lanfranchi (London: Frank Cass, 1996), 28-47; The Games Ethic and Imperialism: Aspects of the Diffusion of an Ideal (Harmondsworth: Viking, 1986), esp. 18; J. A. Mangan and Callum McKenzie, "The Other Side of the Coin: Victorian Masculinity, Field Sports and English Elite Education," European Sports History Review 2 (2000): 62-85; Callum McKenzie, "The British Big-Game Hunting Tradition, Masculinity and Fraternalism With Particular Reference to the 'Shikar Club,'" The Sports Historian 20 (2000): 70-96.
(11.) There have been some helpful revisions: Donald Hall, "Muscular Christianity: Reading and Writing the Male Social Body," in Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age, ed. Donald Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 8; Andrew Bradstock, Sean Gill, Anne Hogan, and Sue Morgan, eds., Masculinity and Spirituality in Victorian Culture (Houndmills: Macmillan, 2000), esp. Andrew Bradstock, "'A Man of God Is a Manly Man': Spurgeon, Luther and 'Holy Boldness,'" particularly 212-14; Sean Gill, "How Muscular Was Victorian Christianity? Thomas Hughes and the Cult of Christian Manliness Reconsidered," in Gender and Christian Religion, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History, 34 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1998), esp. 425-30.
(12.) Robert Malcolmson, Popular Recreations in English Society 1700-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973); Brian Harrison, "Animals and the State in Nineteenth-Century England," English Historical Review 88 (1973): 786-820.
(13.) Emma Griffin, England's Revelry: A History of Popular Sports and Pastimes, 1660-1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
(14.) Harriet Ritvo, The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987), 125-66.
(15.) Hilda Kean, Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain Since 1800 (London: Reaktion, 1998); Richard D. Ryder, Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes Towards Speciesism, 2d ed. (Oxford: Berg, 2000).
(16.) Rod Preece, Brute Souls, Happy Beasts and Evolution: The Historical Status of Animals (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005), 7.
(17.) The following is just a sample: Josephine Donovan, "Animal Rights and Feminist Theory," Signs 15 (1990): 350-75; Carol Adams and Josephine Donovan, eds., Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations (Durham, N.C., and London: Duke University Press, 1995); Charles Peek, Nancy Bell, and Charlotte Dunham, "Gender, Gender Ideology, and Animal Rights Advocacy," Gender and Society 10 (1996): 464-78.
(18.) See R. B. Lee and I. Devore, eds., Man the Hunter (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1968). Matt Cartmill provides an extensive list of "distinguished scholars and eminent anthropologists" who agreed that "hunting was what had turned apes or man-apes into people, and man's need to become an ever more effective hunter had governed the whole course of human evolution until the invention of agriculture" in his A View to a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature Through History (Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1993), 9 and n. See also Jared Diamond, The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee: How Our Animal Heritage Affects the Way We Live, new ed. (London: Vintage, 2002), esp. 32-34.
(19.) R. Dorvill, "A Treatise on the Care, Treatment, and Training of the English Race-Horse," Quarterly Review 49 (1833): 381-449, quote at 382-83.
(20.) John M. MacKenzie, "Hunting and the Natural World in Juvenile Literature," in Imperialism and Juvenile Literature, ed. Jeffrey Richards (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), 170.
(21.) Andrea L. Smalley, '"I Just Like to Kill Things': Women, Men and the Gender of Sport Hunting in the United States, 1940-1973," Gender & History 17 (2005): 183-209, quote at 184.
(22.) See Rob Boddice, "Beastly pleasures: blood sports in England, c. 1776-1876," (unpublished Ph.D. diss., University of York, 2005), passim. Richard Martin's speech in the House of Commons was on 26 February 1824 (Parl. Debs. [series 2] vol. 10, cols. 487-89).
(23.) The Ladies' Humane Education Committee of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was formed in 1870, and had overseen the publication and distribution of the society's first educative journal, Animal World, of which 310,000 copies were printed in the first year. Women had always been involved in the society, as patrons and volunteers, but no woman had served on a committee until this time. See RSPCA Ladies Committee Minute Book, CM/89, 1870-1905, 20.
(24.) There are many histories of hunting, but most suffer from being affiliated with one side or the other. History has been used to serve the purpose of proving that one side is right, the other wrong. On the pro-foxhunting side see Raymond Carr, English Fox-Hunting: A History, rev. ed. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986); Jane Ridley, Fox Hunting (London: Collins, 1990). For the antis, see L. G. Pine, The History of Hunting (London: League Against Cruel Sports, 1973) plus a raft of other literature sponsored by the League Against Cruel Sports. Of the histories that do not take sides, the best are David Itzkowitz, Peculiar Privilege: A Social History of Foxhunting, 1753-1885 (Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1977), and Roger Longrigg, The History of Foxhunting (London: Macmillan, 1975). It strikes me that historians of the twenty-first century now have vastly different questions to ask of this sport, and a major work addressing the culture of hunting, gender, and the "politics of cruelty" is long overdue.
(25.) Thomas Fairfax, The Complete Sportsman; or Country Gentleman's Recreation (1760; London, 1795), i.
(26.) Peter Beckford, Thoughts on Hunting, in a Series of Letters to a Friend (Sarum [Salisbury]: E. Easton, 1781). The quote is from an edition with a variant title, Thoughts Upon Hare and Fox Hunting (London: Vernor & Hood, 1796), 9-10.
(27.) Itzkowitz, 22; Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837 (London: Pimlico, 2003), 172.
(28.) John Passmore, "The Treatment of Animals," Journal of the History of Ideas 36 (1975): 195-218, quote at 209. For such men of unusual sensibility, see Boddice, "Four Stages of Cruelty? Institutionalizing Humanity to Animals in the English Media, c. 1750-1840," in Mediale Konstruktionen in der Fruhe Neuzeit, ed. W. Behringer (forthcoming).
(29.) Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, ed. J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart (1789; London: Methuen, 1970), 282-83n.
(30.) Bentham, Principles of Penal Law, in Works (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1843), i, 562.
(31.) Thomas Young, An Essay on Humanity to Animals, ed. Rod Preece (1798; Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2001), 75.
(32.) Ibid., 77.
(33.) Ibid., 81n.
(34.) The Times, 26 July 1809. This passive resistance to foxhunting became the basis of the League Against Cruel Sports' opposition to the sport in the twentieth century, the group actually buying land in order to prevent hunting taking place upon it. See also Carr, 215-17.
(35.) Cobbett's Parl. Hist., 35, cols. 202-14 (2 April, 18 April 1800); Cobbett's Parl. Hist., 36, cols. 829-54 (24 May 1802); Parl. Debs., (series 1) vol. 14 (15 May, 12 June 1809); 3 George IV, c. 71 (1822); 5 & 6 William IV, c. 59 (1835).
(36.) For histories of the RSPCA see Shevawn Lynam, Humanity Dick: A Biography of Richard Martin, MP 1754-1834 (London: Hamilton, 1975); E. G. Fairholme and W. Pain, A Century of Work for Animals, 2d ed. (London: John Murray, 1934); A. W. Moss, Valiant Crusade, the History of the RSPCA (London: Cassell, 1961).
(37.) RSPCA Fortieth Annual Report (London, 1864), 36. Harrowby was merely echoing an old thesis that linked the spectacle of violence with the brutalization of the senses, common to both the violent perpetration and the violent punishment of crime. For an example of the former see William Hogarth's Four Stages of Cruelty (1751); for a treatment of the latter see J. S. Cockburn, "Punishment and Brutalization in the English Enlightenment," Law and History Review 12 (1994): 155-79.
(38.) 5 & 6 William IV, c. 59.
(39.) For the case, see The Times, 26 February 1859; RSPCA Minute Book 8 (CM/27) 348-49 (8 February, 1859); RSPCA 33rd Annual Report (London, 1859), 13-14. For the reaction, see The Times, 4 March, 10 March, and 14 March 1859. The 4th Earl of Carnarvon's father had been president of the RSPCA.
(40.) For a full account of this process see Boddice, "Beastly pleasures," chap. 2.
(41.) John Styles, The Animal Creation: Its Claims on Our Humanity Stated and Enforced (London: Thomas Ward & Co., 1839), 34-35. This book was written in response to a competition launched by the SPCA to generate works against cruelty to animals.
(42.) Grantley Fitzhardinge Berkeley, MP, A Pamphlet, dedicated to the Noblemen, Gentlemen and Sportsmen, of England, Ireland, and Scotland ... in Reply to a Prize Essay by the Rev. John Styles, D.D. On the Claims of the Animal Creation to the Humanity of Men (London: Ridgway, 1839), 12-13.
(43.) Sporting Magazine 94 (1839): 380. See also J. Carter Wood, Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England: The Shadow of Our Refinement (London and New York: Routledge, 2004), 41.
(44.) E. A. Freeman, "The Morality of Field Sports," Fortnightly Review, new series 6 (1869): 353-85. For Freeman's career, see Frank Barlow, "Freeman, Edward Augustus (18231892)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004), http://www. oxforddnb.com/view/article/10146 (accessed 18 October 2005). Freeman later became Regius Professor of History at Oxford (1884), although he lamented that nobody came to his lectures. His principal works include The History of the Norman Conquest of England, Its Causes and Results, 6 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1867-79) and The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1882).
(45.) The Times, 19 April 1800.
(46.) Freeman, "Morality," 353.
(47.) Ibid., 367.
(50.) Ibid., 372.
(51.) Ibid., 376.
(52.) Carter Wood, 27-31 and chap. 2, passim; Karen Halttunen, "Humanitarianism and the Pornography of Pain in Anglo-American Culture," American Historical Review 100 (1995): 303-34, quote at 318.
(53.) Martin Wiener, Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness and Criminal Justice in Victorian England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 9.
(54.) See Halttunen, 303. The "man of feeling," she says, was the hero of the "cult of sensibility ... whose tender hearted sensibility to the torments of others was the mark of his deeply virtuous nature." I have argued elsewhere, against the grain of much of the literature on human-animal relations (and against Halttunen, 319), that the eighteenth-century focus on pain did not fully extend to animals until the late nineteenth century, making Freeman something of a pioneer. See Boddice, Human-Animal Relations in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Britain (Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, forthcoming).
(55.) Anthony Trollope, An Autobiography, 2 vols. (London and Edinburgh: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1883), i, 257.
(56.) Trollope, Hunting Sketches (1865; London: Ernest Benn, 1952), 70.
(57.) Ibid., 45-46.
(58.) Ibid., 53-54, 62.
(59.) Ibid., 74-76.
(60.) Trollope, ed., British Sports and Pastimes (London: Virtue, 1868), 71.
(61.) Robert Smith Suttees, Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1853).
(62.) Trollope, "Mr. Freeman on the Morality of Hunting," Fortnightly Review, new series 6 (1869): 616-25, quote at 618.
(63.) For the transition from conversational politesse to stoicism in manly expression, see Michele Cohen, "Manliness, Effeminacy and the French: Gender and the Construction of National Character in Eighteenth-Century England," in English Masculinities, 1660-1800, ed. Michele Cohen and Tim Hitchcock (Harlow: Longman, 1999). See also Philip Carter, Men and the Emergence of Polite Society: Britain, 1660-1800 (Harlow: Longman, 2001); G. J. Barker-Benfield, The Culture of Sensibility: Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
(64.) Trollope, "Mr. Freeman," 618.
(65.) Ibid., 620.
(66.) Ibid., 624.
(67.) Ibid., 622. That a sporting "instinct" was long thought to be inherent in human nature has been pointed out in Preece's analysis of Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne (London: B. White & Son, 1789). See Preece, 182.
(68.) Daily Telegraph, 18 December 1869.
(69.) Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1869.
(70.) Daily Telegraph, 21 December 1869. "Reynard" was common parlance in foxhunting culture for the fox, after the French renard.
(71.) Daily Telegraph, 4 January 1870.
(72.) Daily Telegraph, 14 January 1870.
(73.) Manchester Guardian, 5 January 1870.
(74.) Helen Taylor, "A Few Words on Mr. Trollope's Defence of Fox-Hunting," Fortnightly Review, new series 7 (1870): 63-68. The Manchester Guardian, 4 January 1870, also reprinted this article in abridged form, having chosen not to reprint either Freeman's or Trollope's entries. Taylor was not acknowledged as the author, suggesting the position of the editorial staff.
(75.) Philippa Levine, "Taylor, Helen (1831-1907)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004) http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36431 (accessed 12 May 2005).
(76.) Taylor, 63.
(77.) Ibid., 67.
(78.) Ibid., 65.
(79.) Longrigg, 144-46; Cart, 172-75, esp. 173.
(80.) Trollope's Hunting Sketches had first appeared in The Pall Mall Gazette, and Trollope worked for the paper on various tasks (see his An Autobiography, ii, 3-10). This suggests a certain amount of editorial inconsistency and points to John Morley's influence. See below.
(81.) Pall Mall Gazette, 3 January 1870.
(82.) Pall Mall Gazette, 7 January 1870.
(83.) Freeman, "The Controversy on Field Sports," Fortnightly Review, new series 8 (1870): 674-91, quote at 687.
(84.) Ibid., 680.
(85.) Ibid., 678.
(86.) Trollope, An Autobiography, i, 258.
(87.) J. W. Robertson Scott, The Life and Death of a Newspaper (London: Methuen, 1952), 17-24.
(88.) According to Keith Thomas, "In 1868 John Stuart Mill declined the Vice-Presidency [of the RSPCA] because the Society's operations were limited 'to the offences committed by the uninfluential classes of society.'" See Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, 1500-1800 (London: Penguin, 1983), 186.
(89.) Morley, Recollections, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1917), 59.
(90.) J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy, 2 vols. (London: J.W. Parker, 1848), ii, 525.
(91.) Styles, The Animal Creation. See Boddice, "Beastly pleasures," 209-16.
(92.) Pall Mall Gazette, 7 January 1870.
(93.) Sporting Magazine, 3d series, 55 (1870): 106.
(94.) Cart says as much in his English Fox-Hunting.
(95.) The Times, 1 February 1870.
(96.) Robert Vyner, Notitia Venatica: A Treatise on Fox-Hunting, 6th ed. (London, 187l), viii.
(97.) MacMillan's Magazine 21 (1870): 341. Melton Mowbray was considered the historical home of foxhunting.
(98.) Norbert Elias, "An Essay on Sport and Violence," in Quest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilizing Process, ed. Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), 161-71.
(99.) Heidi Dahles, "Game Killing and Killing Games: An Anthropologist Looking at Hunting in a Modern Society," Society and Animals 1.2 (1993): online ed., 9.
(100.) James Howe, "Fox Hunting as Ritual," American Ethnologist 8 (1981): 278-300, quote at 291.
(101.) Elias, The Civilizing Process: The History of Manners, trans. Edmund Jephcott, new ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000).
(102.) Carter Wood, 36.
Dr. Rob Boddice is a postdoctoral fellow at the European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin, Germany. The author wishes to thank the participants of the Women and Gender History Group at the University of York for their comments on an earlier version of this article in December 2005, as well as Stephanie Olsen (my copresenter on that occasion) for her ongoing criticism. For close reading and helpful comments the author is also indebted to Rod Preece and to three anonymous reviewers.
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