1st Edition

Patriarchy’s Creative Resilience Late Victorian Speculative Fiction

By Michael Kramp Copyright 2023
    284 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Patriarchy’s Creative Resilience explores the disturbing sustainability of White male supremacy. Kramp traces an imaginative failure and an imaginative success; his focus on British speculative fiction published between 1870 and 1900 demonstrates how even this elastic and wildly inventive literary form remains incapable of promoting non- patriarchal masculinity, and he attributes this inability to the creative resiliency of white male supremacy. He demonstrates the inventive use of diverse resources that we frequently view as custom or uncomplicated history and a versatility that we often dismiss as sheer power. He draws on an archive of late nineteenth- century speculative fiction to detail a versatile patriarchal toolbox, including hegemonic masculinity, control of dangerous women, hyperbolic and sentimental performances of male sovereignty, and reversions to authoritarian, at times violent conduct. He also considers how the classic military strategy of dividing to conquer undergirds all these tactics, inhibiting our creating energies and dynamic collaborations. Various chapters demonstrate the enterprise, ingenuity, and adaptability of patriarchy to refashion and rejustify normalized systems of oppression. While scholars have consistently identified moments and agents of resistance to patriarchal structures by highlighting creativity, resiliency, and resourcefulness, Kramp’s project reveals how patriarchy itself is creative, resilient, and resourceful.

    Introduction          Patriarchy’s Creative Resilience and the Hopes of Imaginative Horizons


    Chapter I               Framing Threats, Sustaining White Male Supremacy: The Imaginative Work of Victorian Patriarchy


    Chapter II              Remaking England, Refashioning Hegemonic Masculinity, Sustaining Patriarchy


    Chapter III             Controlling Dangerous Women in The Coming Race and Flatland                           

    Chapter IV            Justifying Patriarchy: Performing Male Sovereignty in The Revolt of Man and Vice Versa


    Chapter  V             Patriarchy’s Ultimate Resilience: Authoritarian Masculinity in The Inner House and Ionia


    Chapter VI            Conclusion: Patriarchal Strategies of Division in Late Nineteenth-Century Feminist Utopias




    Michael Kramp is Professor of English at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, U.S.A. He received his Ph.D. in English from Washington State University, where he was the Charles Blackburn Fellow. He is the author of Disciplining Love: Austen and the Modern Man (The Ohio State University Press, 2007) and editor of Jane Austen and Masculinity (Bucknell University Press, 2017) and Jane Austen and Critical Theory (Routledge, 2021). He is co-editing the first scholarly edition of William Delisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City (1880).