Sappho in Early Modern England: Female Same-Sex Literary Erotics, 1550-1714

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University of Chicago Press, Jul 2, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 254 pages
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In Sappho in Early Modern England, Harriette Andreadis examines public and private expressions of female same-sex sexuality in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Before the language of modern sexual identities developed, a variety of discourses in both literary and extraliterary texts began to form a lexicon of female intimacy. Looking at accounts of non-normative female sexualities in travel narratives, anatomies, and even marital advice books, Andreadis outlines the vernacular through which a female same-sex erotics first entered verbal consciousness. She finds that "respectable" women of the middle classes and aristocracy who did not wish to identify themselves as sexually transgressive developed new vocabularies to describe their desires; women that we might call bisexual or lesbian, referred to in their day as tribades, fricatrices, or "rubsters," emerged in erotic discourses that allowed them to acknowledge their sexuality and still evade disapproval.
  

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Contents

AN EROTICS OF UNNAMING
1
On Naming Female SameSex Behaviors
3
Physical Intimacy and the Erotics of Unnaming
11
The Demise of Tacit Knowledge
14
The Textual Dissemination of Sexual Knowledge
15
Splitting Discourses
16
A Language of Erotic Ellipsis
19
REPRESENTING SAPPHO EARLY MODERN PUBLIC DISCOURSE
27
Erotic Discourses Libidinous Energies
95
DOUBLING DISCOURSES IN AN EROTICS OF FEMALE FRIENDSHIP
101
Respectable Intimacies and Erotic Ellipsis
104
Ephelia and Negotiations of Homage
107
Women Writers and Female Community at Court
109
Anne Killigrew
111
Anne Kingsmill Finch Countess of Winchelsea
124
Jane Barker
131

The Myth of Sappho and Phaon
28
Sappho as Originary Icon of Female Poetic Excellence
37
Sappho as Exemplar of Female SameSex Desire
39
Other Transgressing Classical Women
44
Vernacular Discourses
45
AN EMERGING SAPPHIC DISCOURSE THE LEGACY OF KATHERINE PHILIPS
55
Literatures and Traditions of Friendship
62
A Life of Friendship
70
Ideologies of Friendship Sappho and Orindas Reputation
76
Margaret Cavendish andAphra Behn
83
Delarivier Manley
91
Toward Sapphic Intimacies in the Eighteenth Century
143
CONFIGURATIONS OF DESIRE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY AT COURT
151
Visual Representations
155
Textual Representations
160
Sappho at Court
167
The Case of Queen Annes Court
170
Notes
177
Bibliography
217
Acknowledgments
239
Index
241
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Harriette Andreadis is an associate professor of English at Texas A&M University.