The animal stories produced around the turn of the 20th century have maintained a remarkable hold on the imagination of children worldwide. This critical book examines the performance of masculinity in these stories, particularly in light of the waning years of Victoria's reign when changing historical, political and social pressures altered the definition of masculinity. An examination of aestheticism, multicultural religious and spiritual forces, and the role of genre are key to understanding how these authors scripted masculinity onto non-human character. Topics covered include the roles of violence, rebellion, escape, spirituality, social hierarchies and law. A vital addition to the scholarly examination of children's literature.