My story involves a small airship, slightly larger than the one Santos Dumont flew around the Eiffel Tower circa 1900. (The really big airships, like the zeppelins of Germany, didn't appear in historical skies until about 1910. Transatlantic and trans-US crossings didn't happen until the 1930's.)
|Lewis Hine, 1920. |
Power house mechanic
working on steam pump.
So I have to examine how to write masculinity. On one hand is the "muscular Christianity" that E.M. Forester commented on, with its homo-social prep-schools filled with fine young men learning Greek and honing their bodies with athletic games. With the alternate-religion of the world, I think I can focus on the strong body, strong mind ethic to help preserve that old English Empire feel. And since The Father and The Mother of the Quartet are equals, there's less pressure to have a "The spiritually manly man is the head of his household" morality.
Anyway... that's been what's peculating in the back of my head. Now... onto writing the story. And I think I'm going to try my hand at more Steampunk, if only to try different ways of queering it.