Abstract

The stories featuring A. J. Raffles deserve to be a part of any attempt to fully understand the fall of the gentleman ideal in English literature. Part Oscar Wilde, part W. G. Grace, Raffles became one of the fin-de-siècle’s most improbable models of English masculinity, a fashionable archetype of the English gentleman. This article is concerned with the “Oscar Wilde” part of Hornung’s antihero. The discussion places the Raffles stories into dialogue with other fin-de-siècle critiques of British masculinity, particularly aesthetic ones. It describes how Raffles uses the language and poses of English aestheticism’s critique of mid-Victorian models of masculinity and how that critique is codified into the generic language of adventure fiction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 44-66
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-11
Open Access
No
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