Docteur en études anglophones.
English literature; eighteenth-century religious and political culture; satire.
The popularity of boxing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is attested by the great number of publications and debates about the sport. Pugilism, in spite of its violence, was progressively presented as a sociable entertainment, a disciplined pastime, that allowed the cultivation of manly virtues. To legitimize boxing, various discourses shaped it as a science and as an art in the context of the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Boxing became increasingly associated to a conservative and nationalist perception of Englishness as conservatives and radicals perceived the potential of the pastime to educate the mob and to cultivate a disciplined violence useful to maintain a pugilistic spirit in times of peace.
One of the main events in religious history in Britain and colonial America in the eighteenth century was the development of Methodism. That evangelical revival brought about new conceptions of religious sociability and started controversies on the place of individual and collective discipline within the Established Churches in Britain.
In the eighteenth century, ‘cant’ was a word widely used in controversies to disqualify the opponent's language and rhetoric. It first referred to the secret language of thieves but then was used to criticise an excessive use of ready-made phrases.