Masculinity in Children’s Animal Stories, 1888–1928

A Critical Study of Anthropomorphic Tales by Wilde, Kipling, Potter, Grahame and Milne

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About the Book

The animal stories produced around the turn of the 20th century have maintained a remarkable hold on the imagination of children worldwide. This book examines the performance of masculinity in these stories, particularly in light of the waning years of Victoria’s reign when changing historical, political and social pressures altered the definition of masculinity. Topics covered include the roles of violence, rebellion, escape, spirituality, social hierarchies and law.

About the Author(s)

Wynn William Yarbrough has published articles on Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Grahame, and A.A. Milne. An assistant professor of English and children’s literature at the University of the District of Columbia, he lives in Mount Rainier, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Wynn William Yarbrough
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 195
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5943-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8554-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction—Play’s the Thing      3

1. Adventures, Escapes and Violence      23

2. Aestheticism, Christianity and Spirituality: Masculinity in Flux      58

3. Reputation, Hierarchy, Masculine Logic, Law and Codes      90

4. Collaboration, Compromise, Group Performances      125

Conclusion—The Hidden, the Subversive, the Traditional      163

Chapter Notes      179

Works Cited      183

Index      187

Book Reviews & Awards

“ideas about masculinity could be more freely expressed and exhibited under cover of an animal skin”—Reference & Research Book News; “In prose refreshingly accessible, Yarbrough guides his readers through the literary rites of masculinity in anthropo-morphized characters…. A valuable addition.”—Lisa Rowe Fraustino, professor, Eastern Connecticut State University, and former president, Children’s Literature Association; “Yarbrough operates on the assumption that the use of animals as characters allows representations of gender roles that might [otherwise] have been questioned. A thorough and meticulous analysis of the works of Wilde, Kipling, Grahame, Potter and Milne.”—John Morgenstern, associate professor of English, Mount Saint Vincent University, and author of Playing with Books: A Study of the Reader as Child (McFarland, 2009)