Oxbridge Men

British Masculinity and the Undergraduate Experience, 1850-1920

by Paul R. Deslandes

Published by: Indiana University Press

340 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 19 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253017833
  • Published: July 2015


  • eBook
  • 9780253111258
  • Published: May 2005


The mythic status of the Oxbridge man at the height of the British Empire continues to persist in depictions of this small, elite world as an ideal of athleticism, intellectualism, tradition, and ritual. In his investigation of the origins of this myth, Paul R. Deslandes explores the everyday life of undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge to examine how they experienced manhood. He considers phenomena such as the dynamics of the junior common room, the competition of exams, and the social and athletic obligations of intercollegiate boat races to show how rituals, activities, relationships, and discourses all contributed to gender formation. Casting light on the lived experience of undergraduates, Oxbridge Men shows how an influential brand of British manliness was embraced, altered, and occasionally rejected as these students grew from boys into men.