Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis is a study of the imaginative construction of the imperial frontier as a space in which masculinity could be successfully performed. I examine a number of fictions of empire produced between 1885 and 1910 by three popular male authors: H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and John Buchan. These texts were produced in the context of a contemporary crisis in masculinity. In response to this perceived crisis, the frontier took on particular significance as a space in which to articulate 'proper' masculinity. I examine the development of this space, paying particular attention to the war reportage of Winston Churchill and the instructional writings of Lord Baden-Powell. Through their fictions, H. Rider Haggard enabled the extension of the Empire, Rudyard Kipling taught his readers how to rule the Empire, and John Buchan delineated the duties and responsibilities of the white, male imperial citizen. For each of these authors, the performance of 'proper' masculinity was inextricably linked to the extension or preservation of the Empire. At the same time, the success of the imperial project was dependent upon the performance of masculinity and the maintenance of strong homosocial bonds.
Ivison, Douglas, "Imagining the Empire: The Frontier and Masculinity in Fiction of Empire, 1885-1910" (1994). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6538.
McMaster University Library