Manning the Margins: Masculinity and Writing in Seventeenth-century France

The first book-length study of writing, men, and masculinity in seventeenth-century FranceOver the past three decades, a rich body of scholarship has uncovered the crucial roles women played in seventeenth-century France, a period often reduced to 'classical' male authors and 'absolutist' kings. But the clearer perspective we now have of women has exposed the need to take a fresh look at men and masculinity. Through his reading of a wide range of canonical and minor texts, Seifert charts a course toward a more complex understanding of gender during this seminal period. Examining ideals of polite masculine conduct, the figure of the salon man, representations of male same-sex desire, and the case of a male cross-dresser, Manning the Margins shows how elite men defined themselves in relation to women and other men, and argues that dominant masculinity cannot always eclipse marginalized masculinities.