This thesis posits that the genre of the male quest romance, highly popular during the British fin de siècle, was a literary response to increased male anxiety during that period. Reading works belonging to this genre, this thesis sees writers treating approaches to masculinity not as something simple and monolithic, but as diverse and fraught with uncertainty of definition. This thesis demonstrates that the ways in which men in these novels deal with threats to their masculine identity, clearly show that masculinity is experienced as a concept no less complicated than femininity. The specific threats treated here are the role of women, men's sexuality, and mental illness. In the interest of equality, and in an academic setting where gender studies are frequently synonymous with women's studies , it is hoped that an academic approach to the male quest romance genre will lead to new understandings of the complexity of masculinity as a basis for identity. The introduction explains the socio-cultural context in which the primary texts were written, clarifies important terms and gives an overview of which theories this thesis draws on. Chapter 1 discusses how the Sherlock Holmes tales explore unconventional models of masculinity, while Chapter 2 argues that Dracula reinforces certain traditional aspects of gender roles in order to counter the destabilisation of masculine identity. Findings and new insights are outlined in the conclusion.