Amanda Vickery On Men

Radio 2 phone-in type person - eg ""Sitting in for Jeremy Vine this week, Amanda talks to the people who make the news.

Phone the Comment Line free on 0500 288291 or the Question Line free on 0800 022022."".

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Radio 2 phone-in type person - eg ""Sitting in for Jeremy Vine this week, Amanda talks to the people who make the news.

Phone the Comment Line free on 0500 288291 or the Question Line free on 0800 022022."".

01The Knight20120806

Amanda Vickery explores the medieval knight, on location in Pembroke Castle.

Amanda Vickery explores the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man, archetypes which still have an echo today.

The history of men and masculinity is now at the cutting edge of scholarship. In conversation with historians, Professor Vickery asks: Where did these ideals of how men should behave come from? How influential were they on the lives and careers of real men? And what did women make of them?

The series begins in the Middle Ages and ends in the 1950s. It explores The Knight, The Gentleman, The Lover, The Sailor, The Explorer, and The Suit.

This first programme, The Knight, begins on location in Pembroke Castle with crusader historian Tom Asbridge. He reveals how the man who built it, William Marshal, came to be seen as the perfect knight, an example men tried to emulate for centuries. Marshal is fascinating to historians because he is the first ordinary man to have had a biography written about him - but the cold ruthless warrior the biography reveals is at odds with our Hollywood idea of chivalry.

Knights were the professional footballers of their day. They could rise socially and accumulate princely wealth through lithe horsemanship and prowess in the joust, but they also composed love songs and sang the blues.

Cultural historian Bill Burgwinkle introduces some revealing songs which suggest there was a strong homosexual subculture among knights. And medieval historian Helen Castor uncovers manuscript evidence of the struggle (personal and financial) ordinary gentlemen faced to live up to the exacting ideal.

Amanda Vickery is Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

02The Gentleman20120813

Amanda Vickery examines the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man, archetypes which still have an echo today.

In this second programme of the series she explores the Gentleman, an ideal of refinement and culture which has its roots in Renaissance Italy. The programme begins in the Palace of Urbino, Northern Italy, where the courtier Castiglione wrote a book of advice for men which became a best-seller throughout Europe. In England its influence lasted for hundreds of years, and it spawned a whole genre of manuals for men. The advice about how to behave is comprehensive and endless: how to dress, dance, bring up children, play tennis, compose music, and even how to fish.

The cumulative message is that masculinity is something that's made not born. It involved hard work, relentless practice and rigid self-control. The programme includes a moving description of the ceremony in which a young child became a boy by being dressed in breeches for the first time at the age of six. By the 17th century it was no longer enough for a man to be a warrior knight; he had to be cultured and graceful as well. Above all, he had to cultivate charisma.

Of course the mask of the gentleman often slipped. Rigid self-control was not universal among real men, nor were the all-important charisma and confidence given to all. For every cool courtier or accomplished clergyman there was a rowdy drunk - sometimes they were the same person!

Contributing scholars include Luca Mola, Lawrence Klein and Alexandra Sheppard.

Amanda Vickery is Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

Amanda explores an ideal of refinement and culture which has roots in Renaissance Italy.

03The Lover20120820

The 18th-century lover - from irresistible seducer to lusty husband.

Amanda Vickery explores the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man - archetypes which still have an echo today.

In this third programme of the series, she explores the 18th century Lover: from irresistible seducer to lusty husband.

Professor Vickery begins on location in the bizarre erotic caves created by Sir Francis Dashwood on his estate near West Wycombe, which are built to resemble the most intimate space of a woman's body. Dashwood and his friends would drink there and have sex with prostitutes - although there was no shortage of women volunteering to join him.

Historian Faramerz Dabhoiwala, author of The Origins of Sex, tells the story of the caves and analyses the art of seduction as practised by 18th century seducers Casanova and Boswell. Historian Karen Harvey guides us through some strange 18th century erotica, and Hannah Greig introduces a diary which reveals the married sex life of a Manchester wigmaker: "Tis not hard doing it twice per day. I've seldom missed, through variety".

Amanda Vickery is Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London. She has made several series in creative collaboration with producer Elizabeth Burke, the most recent of which was Voices from the Old Bailey.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.

04The Sailor20120827

Amanda Vickery explores the virile poster boy of British manhood.

Amanda Vickery explores the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man. This week: the Sailor.

From the defeat of the Armada to the Battle of Trafalgar, the sailor was the most virile poster boy of British manhood. Any boy worth his salt wanted to run away to sea. National wealth rested on maritime trade and it was the sailor who ensured that Britain ruled the waves. The bravest were lionised and none more so than Horatio Nelson.

Professor Vickery begins on location in Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, with Quintin Colville, curator of naval history at the National Maritime Museum. She explores how it was that Nelson became a symbol of the nation, with historian Kathleen Wilson. And there is new research from David Turner, author of a history of disability, about what happened to less famous sailors who were disabled by war. Were they still men?

Sources include songs, 19th century romantic novels, and cinematic representations of Nelson.

Amanda Vickery is Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London. She has made several series in creative collaboration with producer Elizabeth Burke, the most recent of which was Voices from the Old Bailey.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

05The Explorer20120903

Historian John Tosh puts Captain Scott in a long tradition of earlier role models for men.

Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London, explores the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man. This week: the Explorer.

The rugged explorers of the 19th and early 20th century still fascinate us. One in particular is burned, or rather frozen, into the national consciousness: Captain Scott. Professor Vickery begins the programme on location in a recreation of Scott's Antarctic hut (in the Natural History Museum). She talks to historian Max Jones about the ideal of masculine heroism which Scott personified, and about the male camaraderie of his team. Historian John Tosh puts Scott in a long tradition of earlier role models for men, and explores men's desire to escape the home and domestic responsibility. The programme also includes an interview with modern-day explorer Wade Davis, author of a book about the conquest of Everest, who speaks passionately about the continuing appeal of these early explorers for men like him.

Sources include Scott's diary; adventure stories for boys; Baden-Powell's scouting manual; and cinematic representations of Scott.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

06 LASTThe Suit20120910

Amanda Vickery explores the history of masculinity through six different archetypes of the ideal man, archetypes which still have an echo today. This week: The Suit.

Professor Vickery ends her series in the 1950s, with a post-war generation of men trying to make it into positions of power in the British establishment. This is the era of Madmen, but with a very different British setting. She goes to the House of Lords to meet Peter Hennessy, who talks about how as a grammar school boy you had to learn to be a "social amphibian", imitating other more powerful and privileged men. Hennessy and his chums were "already betweeded" at 21. How did your looks, manners and language reveal that you naturally deserved your "Room at the Top"?

The programme was also given permission to record in the Foreign Office with Foreign Office historian James Ellison, who has studied the application files of young men trying to get jobs there. We include funny and revealing extracts from those application forms, and a very revealing exchange of views about whether to accept a candidate guilty of a sexual misdemeanour. Historian Martin Francis talks about how wartime heroism helped create an ideal of masculinity even after the war was over, and about what it was like to try to get on as a gay man.

Sources include Foreign Office files; management manuals for men from the late 50s; BBC archive programmes; contemporary films, music and advertisements.

Amanda Vickery is Professor of Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London. She has made several series in creative collaboration with producer Elizabeth Burke, the most recent of which was Voices from the Old Bailey.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

Amanda Vickery ends her series on masculinity with the 1950s professional man.