Men are allowed to cry. At least in the novels of Anne Brontë and her sister Charlotte as well as Elizabeth Gaskell. All three surely hold a front-row seat in British literary history. Thus whatever they wrote is still regarded as representative of the Mid-Victorian period. Anja Drautzburg explores Mid-Victorian forms and concepts of masculinity as described by these writers. She addresses questions of gender stereotypes, Victorian conventions and the power of the women authors’ subversive voice. All the examined novels oscillate between extreme representations of manliness. But why are men either soft and feminine, or stone-cold and cruel in the eyes of their creators? And, most importantly, why are masculinities in crisis?