The Victorian Novel and Masculinity

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-01-26
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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'The old ideal of Manhood has grown obsolete,' wrote Thomas Carlyle in 1831, 'and the new is still invisible to us.' The essays in this volume explore the way Victorian novelists tried to answer the question of what it meant to 'be a man': how manhood was learned, sustained, broken, or restored, and how the idea of the manly was shaped by class, schooling, region and religion, and by scientific and medical debate. Topics covered include the playful subversion of gender roles in the early writings of Charlotte Brontë; changing patterns of working class masculinity in London and Manchester; Dickens and the nurturing male; boyhood and girlhood in Eliot's The Mill on the Floss; the challenge to patriarchy in sensation fiction; manhood, imperialism and the adventure novel; masculinity and aestheticism; Hardy's reluctant, failed, or damaged men; and Conrad's studies of men isolated or divided against themselves.

Author Biography

Phillip Mallett is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews, UK. He is the author of Rudyard Kipling: a Literary Biography, and editor of scholarly editions of The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge. He has also edited collections of essays on Kipling, on satire, and on Thomas Hardy, including Studies in Thomas Hardy for Palgrave, and Thomas Hardy in Context.

Table of Contents


Notes on the contributors

1. Masculinity, Power and Play in the Work of the Brontës; Sara Lodge

2. Working-Class Masculinity and the Victorian Novel; Chris Louttit

3. Dickens and Masculinity: the Necessity of the Nurturing Male; Natalie McKnight

4. Tomboys and Girly Boys in George Eliot's Early Fiction; Shelley Trower

5. Manful Assertions: Affect, Domesticity and Class Status Anxiety in East Lynne and Aurora Floyd; Richard Nemesvari

6. Growing up to be a man: Thomas Hardy and Masculinity; Jane Thomas

7. Masculinity, Imperialism and the Novel; Phillip Mallett

8. Aestheticism, Resistance and the Realist Novel: Marius and Masculinity; Emma Sutton

9. Conrad's Theatre of Masculinities; Linda M. Shires


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