The novel is set in Norway's capital Christiania, and is a fierce attack on the sexual education of the time. It describes the life of a number of down-and-out men who belong to the artistic circles of the city.
After the confiscation of Hans Jæger's 1885 novel Fra Kristiania-Bohêmen and Christian Krohg's 1886 novel Albertine, Garborg begged the Government that his novel Mannfolk please also be confiscated. That did not happen, but instead Garborg lost his position as state auditor, as he was not reelected in 1887.
- Time, Sveinung. "Arne Garborg". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Evensberget, Snorre (2004) . "Mannfolk". Litterært leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: J.M. Stenersen forlag.
- Jæger, Henrik; Anderssen, Otto (1896). Illustreret norsk Literaturhistorie (in Norwegian). 2. Kristiania: Hjalmar Biglers forlag. pp. 886–889. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
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