|Titre :||Changing the Reins of Power : From Cavendish’s Centaur to Eighteenth - Century Riding Houses and Horses|
|fait partie de :|
|Auteurs :||Monica Mattfeld, Auteur|
|Type de document :||document vidéo|
|Année de publication :||2018|
|Format :||21 min.|
EquivocAngleterre ; Politique ; Symbolisme
Noms PropresCavendish (William) Duc de Newcastle
William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, purposefully displayed himself as partially embodying the animal through skilled, artistic and kinesthetic relationships with his horses in an attempt to become a leading figure in the manège community. He understood himself, and knowledgeable spectators understood him, as inhabiting the body of his horse and his horse embracing his mind to create a hybrid, dual-natured creature: a Centaur. This Centaur, inherently honorable and performative, was immediately politicized; Cavendish’s ability to rein (and therefore reign) rightly was an intrinsic component of his Centaur status. However, what happened to the close connections between horsemanship ability and the ability to rule in the aftermath of the English Civil War? What role did riding a horse play for men increasingly interested in republican government, politeness and personal liberty?
To illustrate the changing role of horses in displays of personal and political power this paper follows Cavendish’s legacy from the country estate into London – increasingly the new home of equestrian practice and changing horsemanship communities – and traces it through changing ideals of masculine behavior. I argue the early eighteenth century saw a divergence in horsemanship that eventually resulted in the creation of two distinct but interconnected schools of orsemanship practice: the ‘modern school’ interested in racing and hunting, riding as a means of transportation for business and pleasure, and the performance of polite and commercial virtues, performed on Thoroughbred horses; and the ‘old school’ that continued to look upon it as an art form to be learned on traditionally’ built horses for the conspicuous self - display of skill, nobility and gentlemanly greatness in the Cavendish vein. London’s urban riding houses revise our conception of eighteenth-century politico-social spaces, and the current understanding of politeness as hegemonic. As this paper shows, men of the new horsemanship communities joined politeness to a discourse of political and personal liberty, a belief in useful commercial endeavor, free and forward riding, and equine independence, to create a notion of masculinity surprisingly martial and republican in form. For men of the more traditional communities, politeness was subordinated to the continuing discourse of refinement, honor, strength and spectacular personal display of the Centaur.
|En ligne :||oui|
|En ligne :||https://vimeo.com/277073111|