Anderson, Elizabeth Jane (2013) Establishing adult masculine identity in the Angevin royal family c.1140-c.1200. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis employs a gendered reading of contemporary accounts in order to investigate the Angevin royal family within the framework of medieval concepts of masculinity. The primary focus is the processes involved in the transition from childhood to youth to fully masculine adulthood as experienced by male members of the royal family over two generations. It examines the lived experiences of Henry II and his four sons as well as the ideologies within which their activities and conduct was understood. The aim is to discover any patterns of behaviour that can be seen either to be repeated by other family members or that might have directly or indirectly affected the behaviour of others. This could work either positively or negatively as they went about establishing an adult male status. The emphasis is on the processes by which young males of the royal family established an adult male identity, any problems that might have hampered that process and any events that may have expedited their progression into adult society.

Researching not only the kings but also other male members of the royal family allows comparisons between ideal kingly masculinity and the masculine behaviours expected of lesser royal males. There were a wide variety of masculine models including those associated with kingship, royalty, nobility and family relationships. Becoming a man in medieval noble or royal society was not a simple matter of becoming old enough, or physically large or mature enough. Instead it required a display of correct behaviour patterns that persisted throughout adult life. As such it was possible that an individual may never be seen as an adult by his peers or his subjects. This would be detrimental to his ability to perform his social role as a leader. Therefore gender, masculinity or manliness, are vital to our understanding of the every day lives of the men under investigation.

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