Dandies and Desert Saints
Styles of Victorian Masculinity
A Choice "Outstanding Academic Book for 1996"
While drawing on work in feminism, queer theory, and cultural history, Dandies and Desert Saints challenges scholars to rethink simplistic notions of Victorian manhood. James Eli Adams examines masculine identity in Victorian literature from Thomas Carlyle through Oscar Wilde, analyzing authors who identify the age's ideal of manhood as the power of self-discipline. What distinguishes Adams's book from others in the recent explosion of interest in masculinity is his refusal to approach masculinity primarily in terms of "patriarchy" or "phallogocentrism" or within the binary of homosexualities and heterosexualities.