Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope


What does the word ‘gentleman’ imply in literature of the second half of the 19th century? 

In many Victorian texts ‘manliness’ is equated with the state of ‘being a gentleman’; there are implied behavioural norms of decency, protecting the weak, repressing the self, maintaining an unruffled exterior and a good name, along with the usual qualities of bravery, resolution and leadership.

However, in much literature, including the novels of Anthony Trollope such as Phineas Redux, shown here, it often implies a more narrow expectation of social behaviour – misogyny, arrogance, assumption of superiority, clannishness; many of Trollope’s heroes counter this – they may be disillusioned, not financially independent, or not well dressed. The gentleman’s club, as a safe place for men educated at home or in single-sex boarding schools, is seen as both a refuge and a domain of exclusion.

Full title:
Phineas Redux
1874, London
Book / Illustration / Image
Anthony Trollope
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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