Austen, Masculinity, and Romanticism

Publication Name

The Routledge Companion to Jane Austen


In this essay, Sarah Ailwood charts trends in the interpretation of Austen’s men from Austen’s earliest readers to the present. The essay also offers a new way of interpreting Austen’s men as textual constructions of masculinity within the context of the Romantic era, with a particular focus on Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, illustrating that a focus on Austen’s men not only illuminates the characters themselves but can also reveal new insights into Austen’s broader engagement with prevailing cultural, political and social ideologies. Finally, the essay outlines new directions for future research on Austen and masculinity.

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