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 The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular switch detects metals in the environment

15.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain

15.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>