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Forever England: Reflections on Race, Masculinity and Empire
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Forever England: Reflections on Race, Masculinity and Empire (Paperback)

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This volume is a series of reflections about the effects on English white masculinity of Britain's history of empire, from Victorian times to the present day. The author analyzes the pathological middle-class family of Victorian times: where absent but overbearing fathers ruled with an iron rod; where mothers, their own lives hedged about with restriction, presided over a stifling and repressed domestic life; where adolescent boys were sent away to authoritarian single-sex public schools that were a cross between a monastery and an army camp. Small wonder that generations of dysfunctional men were produced, suffering from mother fixation, narcissism and many other varieties of sexual deviation. Many of these men left the motherland to act out their phantasies of domination in imperial adventures. In this mix of psychoanalytical insight and social history, Jonathan Rutherford documents the lives of some of Britain's heroes and mother's boys, including T.E. Lawrence, Rupert Brooke and, more recently and controversially, Enoch Powell.

Turning to contemporary culture, he argues that the popularity of stars such as Hugh Grant is evidence of the lingering on of an attachment to the archetype of the perpetually adolescent, incoherent - and attractive to some - upper-middle-class man. This type can seem to be a little boy lost, but he will always be fierce in the pursuit of his own interests. Jonanthan Rutherford is the editor of "Identity: Community, Culture, Difference" and co-editor of "Male Order: Unwrapping Masculinity".

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