We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Scarecrows of Chivalry

English Masculinities after Empire

Praseeda Gopinath

Publication Year: 2013

Exploring the fate of the ideal of the English gentleman once the empire he was meant to embody declined, Praseeda Gopinath argues that the stylization of English masculinity became the central theme, focus, and conceit for many literary texts that represented the "condition of Britain" in the 1930s and the immediate postwar era. From the early writings of George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh to works by poets and novelists such as Philip Larkin, Ian Fleming, Barbara Pym, and A. S. Byatt, the author shows how Englishmen trafficking in the images of self-restraint, governance, decency, and detachment in the absence of a structuring imperial ethos became what the poet Larkin called "scarecrows of chivalry." Gopinath's study of this masculine ideal under duress reveals the ways in which issues of race, class, and sexuality constructed a gendered narrative of the nation.

Published by: University of Virginia Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (167.9 KB)
pp. 1-6

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.2 KB)
pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (148.2 KB)
pp. ix-xii

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (252.7 KB)
pp. 1-21

When Eric Blair decided to adopt the pseudonym George Orwell— based on England’s patron saint and the little river that ran beyond the garden of his childhood home—he deliberately crafted what he believed to be a quintessentially English everyman persona: an Englishman who was patriotic, but reasonably so; one who believed in the English countryside as...

read more

1. Manly Independent Men

pdf iconDownload PDF (244.0 KB)
pp. 22-40

In order to track the changes in hegemonic masculinity, the change from gentleman to post- gentleman, in the middle decades of the twentieth century, it is necessary to go back to the Victorian ideal of the gentleman. As I delineated in the introduction, many of the protagonists in the literature of the interwar and postwar period rework, adopt, and...

read more

2. Out of Place

pdf iconDownload PDF (268.1 KB)
pp. 41-65

Paul penny feather, the supinely good protagonist of Decline and Fall, contends that gentlemen, the backbone of the English middle classes and the imperial nation, are defi ned by their commitment to honor. Pennyfeather’s idea of honor, however, is a “scorn of irregular perquisites,” a narrative stroke that is masterful in its irony: the grand and chivalric idea...

read more

3. An Orphaned Manliness

pdf iconDownload PDF (258.5 KB)
pp. 66-88

Anthony Powell characterized George Orwell as being half in love with the thing he was rebelling against, since Orwell roundly dismissed the socioeconomic hierarchy of England as outmoded and unjust but nevertheless relied upon its tenets for his ideas of a “decent” English...

read more

4. “One of Those Old- Type Natural Fouled-Up Guys”

pdf iconDownload PDF (324.6 KB)
pp. 89-116

The British nation from the end of the Second World War to the mid- 1960s is a “hybrid affair, assembled out of tales about the past as well as narratives of the future” (Conekin et al. 3). As theories of the nation have frequently pointed out, the Janus- faced nation simultaneously looks backward to “invented” tradition, invoking the collective “memory” of...

read more

5. “Moulded and Shaped”

pdf iconDownload PDF (358.0 KB)
pp. 117-164

Moving from Philip Larkin’s self-reflective and self-conscious masculine poetics to the aggressive yet neurotic stylizations of the Englishman in the novels of John Wain and, (not so) surprisingly, Ian Fleming reveals another facet of the literary transition into postwar masculinity. Altered by and within governmental practices of the welfare state, the...

read more

6. Writing Women,Reading Men

pdf iconDownload PDF (323.2 KB)
pp. 165-203

The dissolution of the code of English gentlemanliness and the simultaneous adaptation of specific traits of that code in the literature of postwar, post- imperial England signifies both the decline of the English gentleman and the paradoxical persistence of the ideals that define Englishness and Englishmen. The focus in earlier chapters has been on middle- to...

read more

Epilogue: The Postcolonial Gentleman

pdf iconDownload PDF (225.0 KB)
pp. 204-218

This book has examined literary iterations of the simultaneous disintegration and mutation of the gentlemanly ideal in the immediate postwar period as the imperial nation redefined and rediscovered itself. Though the texts that I have considered illustrate insular Englishmen by the English, the argument focuses on how race and empire shape gentlemanliness...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (234.7 KB)
pp. 219-244

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (211.1 KB)
pp. 245-260

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (186.2 KB)
pp. 261-274


E-ISBN-13: 9780813933832
E-ISBN-10: 0813933838
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813933818
Print-ISBN-10: 0813933811

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2013