In the space of barely fifteen years, the history of masculinity has become an important dimension of social and cultural history. John Tosh has been in the forefront of the field since the beginning, having written A Man’s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (1999), and co-edited Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britainsince 1800 (1991). Here he brings together nine key articles which he has written over the past ten years. These pieces document the aspirations of the first contributors to the field, and the development of an agenda of key historical issues which have become central to our conceptualising of gender in history. Later essays take up the issue of periodisation and the relationship of masculinity to other historical identities and structures, particularly in the context of the family. The last two essays, published for the first time, approach British imperial history in a fresh way. They argue that the empire needs to be seen as a specifically male enterprise, answering to masculine aspirations and insecurities. This leads to illuminating insights into the nature of colonial emigration and the popular investment in empire during the era the New Imperialism.
PART ONE: AGENDAS. 1. The Making of Manhood and the Uses of History. 2.What Should Historians do with Masculinity? Reflections on nineteenth century Britain. PART TWO: CHANGING MASCULINITIES. 3. The Old Adam and the New Man: emerging themes in the history of English masculinities, 1750-1850. 4. Gentlemanly Politeness and Manly Simplicity in Victorian England. 5. Middle class Maculinities in the Era of the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1886-1914. PART THREE: FAMILY. 6. Authority and Nurture in Middle Class Fatherhood: the case of Early and Mid Victorian England. 7. Methodist Domesticity and Middle Class Masculinity in nineteenth century England. PART FOUR: EMPIRE. 8. All the Masculine Virtues: English Emigration to the Colonies, 1815-1852. 9. Manliness, Masculinities and the New Imperialism, 1880-1900