A Man Could Stand Up

Masculinities in British and Australian Literature of the Great War

This book explores imbalances of power between male and female characters, and the interplay between fictional masculinities, in British and Australian fiction of the First World War. While most of the novels under consideration were written during the war itself and in the interwar period, others take stock of what it means to be a man in times of war on the occasion of WWI anniversaries, including the 2014-2018 centenary.

These more recent novels draw upon repositories of sedimented images stored in archives of cultural memory, thus raising the question of how the Great War is inscribed in national imaginaries. Hence, some chapters will also discuss Australian texts as they serve to demonstrate, even more clearly than their British counterparts, how constructions of masculinity intersect with constructions of national identity. Finally, in some fictional subgenres such as adventure novels, it is their indebtedness to literary traditions which engender specific types of masculinity.