The Byronic Hero and the Rhetoric of Masculinity in the 19th Century British Novel


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About the Book

From action movies to video games to sports culture, modern masculinity is intrinsically associated with violent competition. This legacy has its roots in the 19th-century Romantic figure of the Byronic hero—the ideal Victorian male: devoted husband, sexual revolutionary and weaponized servant of the state. His silhouette can be traced through the works of authors like Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde.
More than a literary genealogy, this history of the Byronic hero and his heirs follows the changes that masculinity has undergone in response to industrial upheaval, the rise of the middle class and the demands of global competition, from the Victorian period through the early 20th century.

About the Author(s)

D. Michael Jones teaches British literature at East Tennessee State University. He lives in Morristown, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

D. Michael Jones
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6228-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2745-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
Part I. The Byronic Hero
in the Domestic Novel
One. A Home at Sea: Piracy in Lord Byron’s The Corsair and Jane Austen’s Persuasion 17
Two. A House Fit for a Lady: Lord Byron’s Manfred and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights 32
Three. Bad Romancers: Domestic Enclosures in George Eliot’s Middlemarch and H. Rider Haggard’s She 53
Part II. The Rhetoric of Romance Masculinity
Four. A Secret History: The Byronic Hero in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield 71
Five. “Hey you, there!” Transforming Dickens’s Domestic Masculinity into Romance Masculinity in Stevenson’s Treasure Island 88
Six. Being Home: The Schizophrenic Enclosure as Dr. Jekyll and Dorian Gray 101
Seven. Writing the Rebel into Shape: Schizophrenia as Form in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sign of Four and E.W. Hornung’s Raffles Stories 115
Eight. The Double Agent: Romance Masculinity in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, ­Baden-Powell, and the Boy Scouts 134
Conclusion: Romance Masculinity and Contemporary Masculinity 159
Chapter Notes 163
Works Cited 173
Index 179