Jane Austen's Men: Rewriting Masculinity in the Romantic Era, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Jane Austen's Men

Rewriting Masculinity in the Romantic Era, 1st Edition

By Sarah Ailwood


168 pages

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Hardback: 9780367321345
pub: 2019-07-11
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This book illuminates Jane Austen’s exploration of masculinity through the courtship romance genre in the socially, politically and culturally turbulent Romantic era. Austen scrutinises, satirises, censures and ultimately rewrites dominant modes of masculinity through the courtship romance plot between her heroines and male protagonists. This book reveals that Austen pioneers and celebrates a new vision of masculinity that could complement the Romantic desire for agency, individualism and selfhood embodied in her heroines. Rewriting desirable masculinity as an internalised, psychologically complex and authentic gender identity – a model of manhood that drives the ongoing appeal and cultural power of her men in the twenty-first century – Austen explores both the challenges and the opportunities for male selfhood, romantic love and feminine agency.

Jane Austen’s Men is among the first full-length works to explore Austen's male protagonists as textual constructions of masculinity. Sarah Ailwood reveals the depth of Austen's engagement with her predecessors and contemporaries, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane West and Jane Porter, on critical questions of masculinity and its relationship to femininity and narrative form. This book illuminates in new ways Jane Austen’s ambitions for the novel, and the political power of the courtship romance genre in the Romantic era.

Table of Contents


About the Author

Sarah Ailwood is Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra. She completed her PhD on Jane Austen and masculinity at the University of Wollongong, and has published essays and articles on Austen’s men. She co-edited Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence (EUP, 2015) and has wide research interests in women’s writing, particularly historical and contemporary life narrative and legal experience.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Romanticism

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