Känslor i krig. Sensibilitet och emotionella strategier bland svenska officerare 1788–1814

Detta är en avhandling från Agerings bokförlag

Sammanfattning: Emotions at War: Sensibility and emotional strategies among Swedish officers, 1788-1814

This thesis studies the relationship between the emotional sufferings of Swedish officers in wartime during the period 1788-1814 and the various mental strategies they employed in order to deal with those sufferings. The study is positioned within the field of research commonly refered to as the history of emotions, and draws methodological inspiration from the concept of ”emotional narratives”, as defined by Peter Goldie.

Drawing on diaries, letters and memoirs written by Swedish officers about their experiences of war during the period of investigation, repertoires of suffering and emotional strategies are analyzed in three empirical chapters, concerning the letters home, personal relationships in the everyday life of war, and emotional strategies on the battlefield. Each of these highlights a different arena of war which actualized different repertoires of sufferings and emotional strategies.

A general observation of the thesis is that no clear distinction can be made between civilian sensibility, as described in earlier studies, and military sensibility during the investigated period. The military sphere was thus under heavy influence of an expressive culture of sensibility. Another important observation is that emotions could function both as problems and solutions in the narratives implied by the officers' emotional strategies. In this sense the emotions were not only expressed within the context of war, they were also at war with each other.