Description : The Essays and Lays of Ancient Rome is one of the most famous epic poems of the Victorian era. A stirring teacher of Roman history accenting the virtues of courage, sacrifice, and determination, it has been required reading for British students for nearly a hundred years and is well known for its action, spirit, and daring adventure.AUTHOR BIO: Thomas Babington MacAulay (1800-1859) was an English historian and author born in Leicestershire and educated at Cambridge University. During his early career, he was a member of the Supreme Council of the East India Company, reformed the Indian educational system, and composed a legal code for the colony. On his return to England, Macaulay devoted himself to writing history, but returned to public office as secretary of war, paymaster of the forces, and a noted member of Parliament. MacAulay's works include The History of England from the Accession of James the Second.
Description : Ancient Rome and Victorian Masculinity examines Victorian receptions of ancient Rome, with a specific focus on how those receptions were deployed to create useable models of masculinity. Romans in Victorian literature are at once pagan persecutors, pious statesmen, pleasure-seeking decadents, and heroes of empire, and these manifold and often contradictory representations are used as vehicles equally to capture the martial virtue of Wellington and to condemn the deviance and degeneracy of Oscar Wilde. In the works of Thomas Macaulay, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, H. Rider Haggard, and Rudyard Kipling, among others, Rome emerges as a contested space with an array of possible scripts and signifiers which can be used to frame masculine ideals, or to vilify perceived deviance from those ideals, though with a value and significance often very different to ancient Greek models. Sitting at the intersection of reception studies, gender studies, and interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies across discourses ranging from education and politics, this volume offers the first comprehensive examination of the importance of ancient Rome as a cultural touchstone for nineteenth-century manliness and Victorian codifications of masculinity.