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On the Sources of Patriarchal Rage: The Commonplace Books of William Byrd and Thomas Jefferson and the Gendering of Power in the Eighteenth Century (History of Emotions S) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1995/3/1

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Two of the greatest of Virginia gentlemen, William Byrd II and Thomas Jefferson, each kept a commonplace book--in effect, a journal where men were to collect wisdom in the form of anecdotes and quotations from their readings with a sense of detachment and scholarship. Writing in these books, each assembled a prolonged series of observations laden with fear and hatred of women. Combining ignorance with myth and misogyny, Byrd's and Jefferson's books reveal their deep ambivalence about women, telling of women's lascivious nature and The Female Creed and invoking the fallible, repulsive, and implicitly corruptible female body as a central metaphor for all tales of social and political corruption. Were these private outbursts meaningless and isolated incidents, attributable primarily to individual pathology, or are they written revelations of the forces working on these men to maintain patriarchal control? Their hatred for women draws upon a kind of misogynistic reserve found in the continental and English intellectual traditions, but it also twists and recontextualizes less misogynistic excerpts to intensified effect. From this interplay of intellectual traditions and the circumstances of each man's life and later behavior arises the possibility one or more specific politics of misogyny is at work here. Kenneth Lockridge's work, replete with excerpts from the books themselves, leads us through these texts, exploring the structures, contexts, and significance of these writings in the wider historical context of gender and power. His book convincingly illustrates the ferocity of early American patriarchal rage; its various meanings, however suggestively explored here, must remain contestable.


"A brilliant ... analysis of the fragile hegemony and identities of colonial Virginia's elite men... On the Sources of Patriarchal Rage compellingly illuminates the ragged edge where masculinity and colonial identity meet... [the book] will undoubtedly send Jefferson scholars scurrying back to their notes... Most significant, by being among the first to tackle the subject of masculinity in early America, Lockridge forces colonial scholars to reexamine the lives of men they thought they already knew too well." --William and Mary Quarterly



  • ペーパーバック: 160ページ
  • 出版社: NYU Press; New版 (1994/09)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0814750893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814750896
  • 発売日: 1995/3/1
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告


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A twisted interpretation of the founding father's views 2001/5/21
投稿者 Sandra Parke Topolski - (
形式: ペーパーバック
This is an attempt to understand the psychology of the late 18th century Virginia gentry by exploring the writings of some of its more prominent male menbers. Lockridge culls his evidence from the commonplace books of Thomas Jefferson and William Byrd, in which the subjects collected jokes, quotations, and parables that they found to be particularly illuminative. While Lockridge acknowledges that the perspectives of two men cannot be wholly transferable to their entire class, he hopes that his subjects are representational enough that some insight into the general beliefs of the gentry can be found in their writings. However, by focusing on narrow periods in the authors' lives in a strictly constructed context, while adding a heavy dose of his own (questionable) psychoanalysis, Lockridge excludes much evidence that could provide a more balanced assesment of gentry values.
Lockridge rests his case on the belief that the personality failings of Jefferson and Byrd were somehow representational of a broad misogynistic conviction among upper-class Virginia men. While continuously undermining his own argument by admitting that among the scores of commonplaces he has read, he found nothing similar to the "misogynistic rage" uncovered in the writings of these two men, he is nonetheless certain that these aberrations were somehow deeply reflective of true patriarchal hatred for women. Despite the fact that his own sources make clear that these expressions of misogyny appeared in response to personal failures with women (Byrd was spurned in romance, and Jefferson was unhappily controlled by his mother during his rebellious teenage years) Lockridge argues that it is not enough to agree that these outbursts were reflective of bad personal experiences with women, but that we need to "understand what mental categories are invoked on such an occasion." Understanding what Lockridge means by this would be far more enlightening, however. He goes on to insist that because entries concerning women appear in the same time frame as those about power and rebellion, they must be indisputably connected in the authors' minds, despite the fact that the two men had much to say about these themes in other contexts.
Despite the problems in the work, the conclusions Lockridge ultimately draws about patriarchy are rather convincing, though more concrete evidence than he has presented would be required to prove them. He argues that rather than fearing women for their sexual or political power, it was economic control that most consternated gentrymen, as widows had the ability to control their own property (though Jefferson's attempts to change the legal code so that females could inherit property from their parents would seem to contradict the idea that he personally felt this way.)
Lockridge claims that the point of his study was simply to show that males were under pressure from women because female economic power had the potential to undermine male hegemony in controlling the structure of their newly created world. This is certainly a valid and interesting point; it is thus all the more unfortunate that the body of his essay does little to reinforce it.
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