Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research into love letters reveals that the ‘new man’ is not so new and that Spaniards are traditionally more romantic

13.02.2004


New research by Historian Dr Rebecca Earle from the University of Warwick charts love letters from the 16th -18th centuries to reveal that over 300 years ago men commonly used flowery, romantic words to express emotions, and that the emotionally open ‘New Man’ is not so new. Her research also suggests that 16th century Spaniards were more romantic than their American or English contemporaries.

The study of 303 letters entitled "Letters and Love in Colonial Spanish America" charts the language of love used by Spanish men resident in the Indies, who emigrated to Spanish America.

In 18th century Mexico, husbands used a range of submissive images in their correspondence. They described themselves as servants or slaves ready to follow their mistress’s every request. Mexican lovers signed themselves ’your slave ’ or ’your servant’.



The language of love used by men in the 18th century and the abject denial of male power in the face of female resistance overtly challenges contemporary images of Mexico as a land of macho men uninterested in romance.

Men expressed emotional powerlessness felt in the face of a lover’s disdain: ’My heart has been destroyed in my bosom’, ’with these delays and bad moments, I suffer unimaginable torments thinking that I will lose my jewel’, ’my darling, I do not continue writing because my sighs and tears do not permit me’.

By describing themselves as weak victims of female power, men created accounts of romantic power that reversed their actual economic and social superiority.

Dr Rebecca Earle, from the University of Warwick, said: “Just as contemporary British men are supposed to express emotions and spend time building relationships, 18th century Spanish American men seemed to believe their love letters should express their emotional state and needs. In fact, a tendency towards self-abasement is a strong undercurrent in many of the letters.”

In the 18th century the language of Hispanic love letters became increasingly inflated. Husbands developed new vocabularies to express their emotions. It was no longer sufficient to end a letter ’your husband who loves and esteems you’. To show real affection writers concluded ’your most loving husband who loves you with all his heart and waits for you with open arms’.

Previous studies suggest modern ideas of marriage being about romance, rather than economic status did not emerge in England and North America until the 17th century. However, the strikingly high use of terms of affection in the correspondence of Spanish Americans suggests that the model of cold, loveless marital relations prior to mid-17th century does not apply to the Hispanic world.

In these days of text messaging, email and answering machines, the traditional love letter seems doomed. Dr Earle’s research reveals the richness of letters as a window into the past. Will future historians analyse text messages so as to understand 21st century love?

Contacts: Dr Rebecca Earle, History Department, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 523 466 or 01926 420 533, Mobile: 07817 848237 or Jenny Murray, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574 255, Mobile: 07876 21 7740

Jenny Murray | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Flying: Efficiency thanks to Lightweight Air Nozzles

23.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Salmonella as a tumour medication

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

50th Anniversary at JULABO GmbH

23.10.2017 | Press release

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>