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"gentleman farmers"

Posted by Warthog on June 11, 2004

In Reply to: Re: What exactly is a "gentleman farmer" posted by Word Camel on June 10, 2004

: : : : : in the context of 18th-century France? Is "landowner" anything like a synonym?

: : : : Yes, although in the UK the term gentleman meant a little more. To be called a gentleman you would need to be:

: : : : - male, obviously
: : : : - landowning, or at least to have sufficient private income or funds not to have to work.
: : : : - respectable. This would involve observing the rules of polite behaviour, not abusing your position of power, etc.

: : : : For an example from Pride and Prejudice, the hero Darcy, having land, and caring for his unfortunate relatives, is a gentleman. Mr Bennet, having no land but a small private income and is quietly studious, also qualifies. Wickham, the villian, is from a wealthy family but, by seducing a vulnerable wench, doesn't live up to the moral code of decency and is therefore 'no gentleman'.

: : : Dictionary.com provides the following:

: : : gentleman farmer
: : : n. pl. gentlemen farmers
: : : A man of independent means who farms chiefly for pleasure rather than income.

: : The traditional 'gentleman farmer' would be a person of wealth who has no economic imperative to make a profit from farming, but runs a farm out of interest. Rock stars may often not be 'gentlemen' in the sense of impeccable behaviour, but have often become farmers out of pastoral idealism.

: And they (the rock stars) really come from Sheffield and their average age is over 35. :)

Must be talking about the likes of Saxon and Joe Cocker - yet Roger Daltrey (The Who), Paul MacCartney (the Beatles) and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) spring to mind. Maybe Midge Ure (Ultravox)too - none of whom are Tykes.