The Image of Manhood in Early Modern Literature: Viewing the Male


The unique social history of the early modern period in England marked a crucial moment in the cultural conception and representation of masculinity. This volume explores the various strategies used by 17th- and 18th-century writers to portray the masculine identity. Included are chapters on such authors as Thomas Carew, Andrew Marvell, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, John Dryden, Daniel Defoe, and Samuel Richardson. Together, the expert contributors offer a broad perspective on the social and political dynamics of early modern masculinity. Though incorporating a variety of critical approaches, the contributors all examine the inherent anxiety and problems associated with masculinity and its representation. The chapters demonstrate how significant literary texts of the period worked to provide not only idealized images of the masculine but also contesting ones. Thus the volume shows that the literary representation of masculinity in the early modern period was a dynamic and evolving process.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Ian McAdam
  • Edward J. Whitelock
  • Francis Bacon
  • Goran Stanivukovic
  • Lisa Hopkins
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1999


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