Masculinity, Tourism and Adventure in English Nineteenth-Century Travel Fiction

  • Helen Goodman
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


Modern conceptions of masculinity may be traced to the nineteenth century, when a combination of socioeconomic factors provoked a reformulation of manliness. Policies such as the breadwinner’s wage combined with an ideological shift towards an opposition between domestic femininity and travelling masculinity highlighted gender difference, contributing to a distinctive new masculinity in the mid-nineteenth century. Towards the fin-de-siécle, fears about the degeneration of the British population prompted renewed interrogation of the desirable (and undesirable) qualities of manliness. This chapter explores masculinity specifically related to Englishness as opposed to Britishness, since the authors and characters discussed here are English and explicitly refer to themselves as such. These individuals also define themselves in middle- to upper-class heterosexual terms, although there is certainly scope for future studies to interrogate these categories. The focus of this chapter is the period from 1865 to 1905, examining work by Anthony Trollope alongside the later fiction of H. Rider Haggard, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling and W. H. Hudson. While previous studies by Dixon (1995) and others have tended to focus on adventure fiction from the late 1880s to 1910, this slightly earlier focus enables analysis of shifting trends towards the end of the century in the context of mid-Victorian conceptions of masculinity.


Masculine Identity Imperial Masculinity Ideological Shift Gender Reassignment Surgery Imperial Narrative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Helen Goodman 2015

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  • Helen Goodman

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