Female novelists have always invested as much narrative energy in constructing their male charactersheroes and villainsas in envisioning their female protagonists, but this fact has received very little scholarly attention to date. In Women Constructing Men, scholars from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain and the United States begin to sketch the outline of a new literary history of women writing men in the English-speaking world from the eighteenth century until today. By rediscovering forgotten texts, rereading novels by high canonical female authors, refocusing the interest in well-known novels, and analyzing contemporary narrative constructions of masculinity, the contributing scholars demonstrate that female authors create male characters every bit as complex as their male counterparts. Using a variety of theoretical models and coming to an equal variety of conclusions, the essays collected in Women Constructing Men skilfully demonstrate that the topic of female-authored masculinities not only allows scholars to re-read and re-discover almost every novel ever written by a woman writer, but also triggers reflections on a host of theoretical questions of gender and genre. In re-examining these male characters across literary history, these articles extend the feminist question of "Who has the authority to create a female character?" to "Who has the authority to create any character?".
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About the Author
Sarah S. G. Frantz is assistant professor of English at Fayetteville State University. Katharina Rennhak is assistant professor of English at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.
Table of Contents
1 Female Novelists and Their Male Characters, 1750-2000 An Introduction Sarah S. G. Frantz Katharina Rennhak 1
2 Happy Men?: Mid-Eighteenth-Century Women Writers and Ideal Masculinity Shawn Lisa Maurer 11
3 Male Privilege in Frances Burney's The Wanderer George E Haggerty 31
4 The Medium Makes the Man: Anne Plumptre's Something New and The History of Myself and My Friend Katharina Rennhak 45
5 "Too much in the common Novel Style": Reforming Masculinities in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Sarah Ailwood 67
6 Constructing Masculine Narrative Charlotte Brontë's The Professor Sara Pearson 83
7 The Lifted Veil: George Eliot's Experiment with First Person Narrative Frederick Burwick 101
8 Assimilating the "pretty youngster": George Eliot's Eroticized Men on the Borderlines of Morality, Religion, Race, and Nation Rainer Emig 119
9 "His spirituality or his manliness": Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's (Re) Constructions of Christian Masculinity Roxanne Harde 137
10 The Differential Construction of Masculinity in the Writings of Virginia Woolf Virginia Richter 155
11 Knitting Paradise Lost: Masculinity and Domesticity in the Novels of Carol Shields Ellen McWilliams 171
12 Looking (Im) Properly: Women Objectifying Men's Bodies in Contemporary Australian Women's Fiction Katherine Bode 185
13 Unmaking the Self-Made Man: Louise Erdrich's Fictional Exploration of Masculinity Angela Laflen 207
14 "I've tried my entire life to be a good man": Suzanne Brockmann's Sam Starrett Ideal Romance Hero Sarah S G Frantz 227
About the Contributors 271
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