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Trauma and emotion in the battlefield correspondence of Andrew Mitchell (1708–1771)

Taylor, DB ORCID: 0000-0003-3353-4781 2018 , 'Trauma and emotion in the battlefield correspondence of Andrew Mitchell (1708–1771)' , Emotions: History, Culture, Society, vol. 2, no. 2 , pp. 292-311 , doi: 10.1163/2208522X-02010024.

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Abstract

Andrew Mitchell’s emotional reactions to his battlefield experiences in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) are detailed in his correspondence. Mitchell was British envoy to Prussia and its ruler Frederick II from 1756 to 1771. His letters home and to friends during the war were an outlet for his emotional turmoil, often unguarded and often expressed without a framework for comprehending the significance or impact of the emotions he felt. His problems were compounded by contemporary diplomatic theory and philosophy, which actively discouraged displays of emotion, advocating self-control and the construction of an identity best equipped to achieve diplomatic ends rather than truly represent what was felt. Analysis of Mitchell’s correspondence suggests that he used letter writing to make sense of his conflicted feelings and to fashion a viable emotional identity in his difficult situation.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Taylor, DB
Keywords: diplomacy, Britain, Prussia, science, literature
Journal or Publication Title: Emotions: History, Culture, Society
Publisher: Brill
ISSN: 2206-7485
DOI / ID Number: 10.1163/2208522X-02010024
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Koninklijke Brill NV

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