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New MenManliness in Early America$
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Thomas A. Foster

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814727805

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814727805.001.0001

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“Blood and Lust”

“Blood and Lust”

Masculinity and Sexuality in Illustrated Print Portrayals of Early Pirates of the Caribbean

(p.95) 5 “Blood and Lust”
New Men
Carolyn Eastman
NYU Press

This chapter examines the subject of manliness in pirate literature. Early modern readers encountered pirates as a series of literary and pictorial conventions that emerged in the late seventeenth century—drawn swords, eccentric clothing, and glaring scowls at the viewer—that strongly enhanced the books' emphases on masculinity and sexuality. Looking closely at the recurrence and reiteration of gendered representations of pirates—how texts and images were copied and enhanced over many decades—shows how writers and engravers played with sexualized masculinities to make their books increasingly appealing to readers. Gender and sexuality were at the heart of these portrayals, granting pirates an outsider masculinity all the more striking for the ways it permitted middling and elite readers to imagine manliness without constraint—a social world in which men did not need to exercise self-control.

Keywords:   pirate literature, manliness, masculinity, sexuality, pirates, gender

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