Whatever you do, be brave : Evangelicalism, masculinity, and empire in the Boy's Own Paper, 1879-1889.
Unlike secular presses or the rhetoric of muscular Christianity that have colored scholarly discussion of periodical literature around the turn of the century, the first decade of the Boy's Own Paper promulgated a specifically evangelical understanding of manhood and the British Empire. Its stories were based on a Christianity rooted in conversionism that could utilize the empire for its own ends. The religious masculinity espoused by the BOP in both fiction and nonfiction was grounded in an approach to history that emphasized morality. Likewise, conversionist impulses colored the BOP's stories of the domestic present and its depiction of manly success. This same impulse shaped the BOP's portrayal of the foreign world through both missionary narratives and adventure stories. This study reverses the hierarchy of priorities with which scholars tend to study late Victorian religion, placing the emphasis foremost on religion as a motivation served by British expansion, not vice versa.