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By B. Burg

Boys at Sea is a learn of homoerotic lifestyles within the Royal army in the course of the age of sail. It offers not just with intercourse between usual crewmen, yet finds that the main constant function of prosecutions for sodomy and indecency concerned officials forcing their attentions on ships' boys. The ebook strains each function of sexuality at sea, and offers a probing examine a gloomy and terrifying point of the lives of children who served in Britain's warships.

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Additional resources for Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy

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Although the account of Sodom’s sins and destruction in Genesis 19 contains no descriptions of unmasculine, fawning, or affected males, femininity and an absence of military spirit are some of the evils ascribed to the city’s residents by the poet: These drones who squander all their time away, In careless negligence or wanton play, Effeminate themselves with soft delights, Or feast their own voracious appetites. 61 Even epistolary anthologies managed to disparage effete, effeminate mollies. ”62 Another one-shilling diatribe dating from 1732 railed against an expansive catalog of “the most flagrant enormities” ranging from atheism through stock-jobbing schemes and on to whoring.

Foote was acquitted, but even having been accused of sodomy, in eighteenth-century England, could weigh heavily. 42 The theater and musical entertainments were integral parts of life in Georgian England, and men of the Royal Navy were ardent theater patrons on ship and ashore, both at home and abroad. Officers regularly encouraged on-board plays and entertainments at sea, and sailors participated and attended these shows with considerable enthusiasm, on several occasions attempting to write for their own productions.

They could also, at their discretion, punish officers or seamen who failed to find or apprehend an assortment of malefactors. ” The councils of war punished breaches of the moral code as they saw fit. 1 The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 negated legislation passed during the Commonwealth and Protectorate. Those laws adopted during the decade of Puritan dominance and that were adjudged useful had to be re-enacted by the newly installed parliament. England’s commercial rivalries and overseas economic interests changed little with the ascension of Charles II, and earlier measures dealing with seaborne trade, the merchant fleet, imports and exports, ships’ crews, tariffs, and the like were reaffirmed with only minor alterations.

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