Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Weeping Sailors and British Manliness at the National Maritime Museum

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Professor Joanne Bailey gave a paper titled Weeping Sailors and British Manliness 1760–1860 at an interdisciplinary workshop, Gendering the Maritime World 1600–1950, sponsored by the National Maritime Museum. She was invited to join this exciting event to discuss the intersections between gender and maritime studies. Her paper examined illustrations, songs and poems depicting an idealised seaman who shed tears at leaving home or at homecoming, at the point of entering battle, or at death.
I think the weeping sailor: the brave, emotionally controlled man who sacrificed his home and family life for the good of England embodied national and gender identities. He was a form of manliness that was widely shared and not one that was specific to maritime culture.
Joanne will examine this figure more fully in the book she is writing on British manliness between the Seven Years War and the Crimean War.