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An anthology of literary texts and contexts

This book is an anthology of selections from works dealing with same-sex love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships during the period 1550-1735 in early modern England. It presents religious and moral writings, pseudo-medical writings, criminal pamphlets, travel writings, and letters on same-sex desire. The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology. The early modern medical, pseudo-medical, and anatomical texts in Latin are surprisingly reticent about the physiological and anatomical aspects of homoerotic sexuality and desire. Canon law had long condemned male same-sex sexual acts. The 1533-34 statute in England forbade male same-sex sexual acts but ignored female same-sex intercourse. English travel narratives dealing with the sexual customs of other cultures often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. The most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio. Familiar letters, such as between James I and VI, could reveal personal secrets and be radically transgressive in their emphasis on fostering love and desire. The book discusses homo-sexual subculture during 1700-1730, translation of Latin and Greek texts, and numerous literature representing male and female same-sex erotic relationships. The largely 'socially diffused homosexuality' of the seventeenth century changed profoundly with 'clothes, gestures, language' connoting 'homosexuality'. The book shows how literary genres of male same-sex and female-sex desires such as Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Catherine Trotter's Agnes de Castro allow the modern reader to chart changes in their representation.

Gilli Bush-Bailey

published between 1698 and 1705.39 Just two months after the publication of Collier’s Short View, Catherine Trotter joined in with the debate. Her tragedy The Fatal Friendship was premiered at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in May 1698 and, as Kendall observes, ‘it would seem that Catherine Trotter wrote the dedication of The Fatal Friendship with a copy of the Short View at her side’.40 Trotter was evidently keenly aware of the dangers of being caught in the cross-fire of the debate and skilfully negotiates the contesting discourses by including references to both sides in the

in Treading the bawds
Gilli Bush-Bailey

licence to perform, and receiving royal authority to exercise that licence – an authority that they were not willing to part with when called upon to do so later – She Ventures and He Wins marks a new departure for the actresses and heralds an unprecedented period of activity and output for a new generation of female playwrights writing for the Late Stuart stage. Introducing Trotter, Manley and Pix Three other named women, Catherine Trotter, Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix, all had plays performed on the public stage in the 1695/6 GBB-chapter4 11/4/06 12:01 Page 119

in Treading the bawds
Abstract only
Leonie Hannan

, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Hannah More, Ann Radcliffe, Elizabeth Rowe, Sarah Scott, Anna Seward, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Ann Yearsley recur time and again’.39 Histories of philosophy could add, amongst others, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway and Catherine Trotter Cockburn to the list.40 This reliance on a discrete canon of female creative talent tends to underline the broader presumption that very few women wrote anything of interest at this time. One answer to the question of why such a small pool of names is drawn upon to illuminate women’s thinking lives is the

in Women of letters
Gerd Bayer

models. This situation in fact displayed in stark contrast the very process of representation in that it made visible the difference between traditional literary characters and the lived experience of actual life. The representative nature of art in general and of writing in particular thus became an issue that demanded attention during the process of textual decoding. Occasionally, the fissure even broke open and appeared on the surface of the text, as in Catherine Trotter’s epistolary novel The Adventures of a Young Lady (1693),26 when in Letter VII Olinda responds

in Novel horizons
Gilli Bush-Bailey

comedy opens in Marsilia/Manley’s house where she is quickly joined by two other playwrights who are to attend the day’s rehearsal: ‘Mrs. Wellfed’, described in the cast list as ‘One that represents a fat, Female Author’ is clearly intended to be Mary Pix, while ‘Calista’, ‘A Lady that pretends to the learned Languages, and assumes to herself the Name of Critick’ caricatures Catherine Trotter.7 The intention of the anonymous author(s) is clear from the opening lines of the play, which reveal Marsilia/Manley to be a vain duplicitous woman who, as the description in the

in Treading the bawds