'Juvenile literature is an important resource for considering constructions of masculinity. The closeness with which society monitors what it tells its children and the pedagogical intent of children's book dictate that they reflect society's ideals, particularly clearly.
'Changing constructions of manliness are evident in the changing fictional depiction of the idealised Australian public schoolboy between the 1870s and the 1910s. Robert Richardson's stories, written in the 1870s, attempted to counter the allegedly brutalising influences of masculinity by constructing an effeminate and religious manliness through academic and pious male heroes open to feminine influences.
'By the 1910s, however, Mary Grant Bruce and Lillian Pyke, responding to new national mythologies, needs and dangers, constructed heroes who were muscular, athletic and patriotic, and placed little emphasis upon religion and academic achievement, they also removed feminine influences from the boy. An effeminate construct in the 1870s, the ideal public schoolboy of the 1910s was a much more masculine and anti-feminine creation.' Source: Martin Crotty.