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|I cannot think of British regency upperclass men ...
Written by Tracy W
(10/23/2006 5:35 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Disciplne, penned by Maisy
JA portrays other of her men who went to public schools as not very submissive - eg Tom and Edmund Bertram in MP.
I don't think there's any neat relationship between being flogged at school and the impact on one's personality. When I went to primary school the strap was still common, and it was generally the defiant and rebellious boys who were strapped, and they went on being defiant and rebellious.
Judith Harris's book The Nuture Assumption presents some arguments and evidence that our personalities are formed by our interactions with our peers, along with our genes, not by parents or authority figures directly. At a public school Robert would have had to get along with his peers, as you say, and for boys that seems to require a fair bit of aggression or at least willingness to defend yourself.
There's the Duke of Wellington's famous comment that "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" - which may or may not be true, but indicates what he thought of the men arising from the British male boarding schools, not very submissive.
But, again, turning to Judith Harris's book - the public school peers may have made Robert more 'submissive' to male culture, deeply buried in it and unable to criticise its assumptions on such matters as the importance of barouches, than his brother Edward. So it may not have been the beatings, but the peer group of the public schools compared to that of a private tutor.
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