Making use of recent masculinity theories, Joseph A. Kestner sheds new light on Victorian and Edwardian adventure fiction. Beginning with works published in the 1880s, when writers like H. Rider Haggard took inspiration from the First Boer War and the Zulu War, Kestner engages tales involving initiation and rites of passage, experiences with the non-Western Other, colonial contexts, and sexual encounters. Canonical authors such as R.L. Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, and Olive Schreiner are examined alongside popular writers like A.E.W. Mason, W.H. Hudson and John Buchan, providing an expansive picture of the crisis of masculinity that pervades adventure texts during the period.
'Joseph Kestner’s Masculinities in British Adventure Fiction, 1880-1915 is a welcome addition to the field of travel and imperial fiction from the late-Victorian period to the First World War.' Catherine Wynne, University of Hull, UK 'One of the strengths of Kestner's work is the care with which he has sought out his authors' published views of their chosen genre…' Modern Language Review 'One of the chief uses to which Masculinities in British Adventure Fiction can be put is as a guide to the extant criticism, for Kester's research is impressively comprehensive.' English Literature in Transition 'Kestner has read widely and has a very clear sense of the literary context in which these novels and tales appeared; the close readings and précis are often excellent; and he is particularly knowledgeable about contemporary reviews, and makes some good use of the authors’ own pronouncements about their work.' Victorian Studies