Chapter 29. Austen and Masculinity

  1. Claudia L. Johnson Chair and
  2. Clara Tuite Senior Lecturer
  1. E. J. Clery Professor

Published Online: 6 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch29

A Companion to Jane Austen

A Companion to Jane Austen

How to Cite

Clery, E. J. (2009) Austen and Masculinity, in A Companion to Jane Austen (eds C. L. Johnson and C. Tuite), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch29

Editor Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Author Information

  1. University of Southampton, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405149099

Online ISBN: 9781444305968



  • Austen and masculinity;
  • Austen - first to describe her work as narrowly “feminine”;
  • With her humorously self-deprecating excuses, Austen confirms the views of some of her detractors, and subscribes to a strictly gendered division of labor in the literary sphere;
  • Much remains to be done towards reconstructing the masculine life-world on which Austen's writing draws;
  • A clergyman from a high-ranking family, a second son, rejects paternal pressure and marries for love (Northanger Abbey);
  • He eventually acquires a living as a country pastor and a penniless but loving wife (Sense and Sensibility);
  • Cinderella has long been seen as the mythic archetype underlying Mansfield Park - but an alternative is “The Choice of Hercules,” a seminal myth of public spirited masculinity


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Further Reading