The Fortified Country of Man’s Heart, c1830s

Having looked at ‘The Open Country of Woman’s Heart’ – with its largest territories being ‘Love of Admiration’ and ‘Love of Dress’ – here is the companion piece, ‘A Map of the Fortified Country of Man’s Heart’. As the titles suggest, the inner workings of the feminine and masculine heart are represented in quite different ways. The former is a well-travelled and busy land with railways, rivers and an ocean allowing connections to be made between the heart and outside influences “with incredible speed”. In contrast, the male equivalent is a fort protected by the Wall of Dread of Woman’s Tongue, moats and an Outer Redou[b]t of Dread of Matrimony.


The most vulnerable territory is the (relatively small) Land of Romance, with the gate laid wide open to those treading the Avenue of Beauty. The only other possible ways in (though they are much smaller) are the Avenue of Fortune, the Gate of Esteem, the Gate Slipshod and the Gate of Convenience.

The topography of this particular area reveals that Romance really ought not to be encouraged in gentlemen – day dreams, fancies and novel reading hardly desirable attributes in those wanting to assert their masculinity.

No, gents, much better to reserve the expanses of the heart for Money, Power and Eating, eh?



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