Wily Dandies in Rustling Silks

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 17, 2011 | Go to article overview

Wily Dandies in Rustling Silks


Byline: NED DENNY

REPROBATES: THE CAVALIERS OF THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR by John Stubbs (Viking, [pounds sterling]25) ALMOST four centuries on, the idea of the cavalier is still sufficiently potent to be part of a stock phrase, a speechmaker's cliche. When we speak of someone having a cavalier attitude, we summon an archetype that has its roots in the English Civil War -- and probably much further back than that. If no longer quite denoting the "petulant, disdainful, violentminded dandy" of Puritan umbrage, the phrase suggests nonetheless a sneering haughtiness, an inclination to ride roughshod over the feelings of others. Picture, if you dare, a silken-curled George Osborne in rustling silks and the image is complete.

As John Stubbs shows in his wonderful survey of the period, cavalier has meant different things at different times. The word is derived from the Spanish caballeros, which simply means gentlemen with the right to bear arms: the courtly ideal, scholar and soldier in one. Yet its early use in this country was entirely negative, bound up with xenophobia. When Parliamentarians used it in the early 1640s, observes Stubbs, they saw "a degenerate creature, bred up on Continental trifles and polluted with popery; a fraud and a boaster, a glossy, superficial type, forever gambling what he had borrowed, in perpetual debt to his tailor".

Soon, however, the insult was being worn with pride. For King Charles's chaplain, the cavalier was "a child of honour ... of a clearer countenance and bolder look than other men, because of a more loyal heart". As the war advanced, cavaliers became associated with acts of wild bravery and outrageous cunning; if the roundhead is a wary plodder, the cavalier "sets his life at a pin's fee, throws himself into the breach for a fleeting triumph or resounding gesture".

Greatest of all the loyalist generals was the Earl of Montrose, a minor Scottish chieftain whose tactical genius employed wit in the truest sense of the word. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wily Dandies in Rustling Silks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.