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December 09 , 2008

Militarism, Hunting, Imperialism

'Blooding' The Martial Male


The late Victorian and Edwardian officer class viewed hunting and big game hunting in particular, as a sound preparation for imperial warfare. For the imperial officer in the making, the ‘blooding’ hunting ritual was a visible ‘hallmark’ of stirling martial masculinity. Sir Henry Newbolt, the period poet of subaltern self-sacrifice, typically considered hunting as essential for the creation of a ‘masculine sporting spirit’ necessary for the consolidation and extension of the empire. Hunting was seen as a manifestation of Darwinian masculinity that maintained a pre-ordained hierarchical order of superordinate and subordinate breeds.

Militarism, Hunting, Imperialism examines these ideas under the following five sections:

  • martial imperialism: the self-sacrificial subaltern
  • ‘blooding’ the middle class martial male
  • the imperial officer, hunting and war
  • martial masculinity proclaimed and consolidated
  • martial masculinity adapted and adjusted.

This book was published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

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