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


Taylor, D, Trauma and emotion in the battlefield correspondence of Andrew Mitchell (1708-1771), Emotions: History, Culture, Society, 2, (2) pp. 292-311. ISSN 2206-7485 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2018 Koninklijke Brill NV

DOI: doi:10.1163/2208522X-02010024


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:diplomacy, Britain, Prussia, science, literature
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Taylor, D (Dr David Taylor)
ID Code:132912
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of ED Student Life and Enrichment
Deposited On:2019-05-27
Last Modified:2019-06-21

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