Battlefield Emotions in Early Modern Europe: Trends, Key Issues and Blind Spots
This final chapter provides, first of all, an overview of the main trends in early modern battleground emotions as emerging in this volume. Sturkenboom recognises, amongst others, a gradual secularisation and a pacifist tendency developing in the eighteenth century, but also an increasing romanticising (or sentimentalising) and marketing of soldiers’ martial emotions in public media. Sturkenboom moreover distils the key emotions, feelings and coping strategies which seem to have formed the affective hard core of military culture throughout the centuries. After having reflected upon the coherence of the emotional communities existing within European old-regime armies, Sturkenboom furthermore addresses the omission of two important issues in this book: the darker battlefield emotions that transform men into killers and the role played by gender and the standard of manliness on soldiers’ emotional experiences.