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[sticky post] Cleaning Up my LJ Reading List (sticky)

I'm using the fact that many of my remaining LJ friends are migrating to DW as a trigger to do housekeeping on my LJ lists. If you have me friended on LJ and are set up to get notifications when people unfriend you, here's why I might have done that:

1. You have an account on DW that I'm now reading.
2. You haven't posted anything on LJ in the last 2 years.
3. You haven't posted anything on LJ within the last year, and the previous posting history is scanty or isn't "social" (i.e., it's posting fics or poetry, but not conversation).

If you're using LJ for reading but not posting, please feel welcome to continue reading my postings here -- I plan to continue cross-posting my Alpennia.com blog indefinitely. (Alternately, you can read my Alpenia blog through RSS.) The only minor hassle is that I screen comments from people not on my LJ friends list, so there may be slight delays for manual approval if you comment. This isn't meant to be unfriendly, it's just a necessary anti-spam measure.

If you're active on DW and would like to interact with me there, I have the same account name there and would be delighted.

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

"We do not war on women and children." It was not, of course, entirely true when Abiel wrote and underscored that line on September 12, 1864. If it had been true, then the Southern woman he wrote about would not have been so pitifully grateful that the soldiers invading her home allowed her to buy supplies from them so that her children wouldn't starve. (After all, one presumes that one of the reasons she was out of food was the depredations of those same soldiers.) But Abiel wants so very badly to believe that he's still an essentially good and civilized man, despite circumstances, and the treatment of women and children is a central part of the worldview that allows him to retain that belief.

Abiel's long, detailed (and somewhat gruesome) description of the battle on the 19th at Opequan Creek has some interesting narrative structure. Rather obviously, he's writing all this down after the battle is over and he begins as usual with past tense narration. "Moved from our camp at 2 A.M. and took the Winchester road." Even so, as the battle continues, he begins introducing dramatized elements, not simply relating quoted speech from others, but offering sound effects: "Whiz, whiz, whiz, went the bullets in rapid succession." And then, in the final decisive manoever of the battle, he shifts to present tense--one could almost imagine him as a play-by-play announcer, "A moving cloud is seen on our right and extending partly behind the Rebs. It is our cavalry under Averill and they are charging." Only when the victory is complete does he shift back into past tense. "I have lost 1/2 my company, either killed or wounded. My friend Powell is badly wounded and 1/2 the officers of the regiment. Very tired."

Outside of the battle descriptions, the diary entries are getting more succinct. It may simply be that there is less to comment on between the overly exciting bits, or it may be that Abiel simply has less spare energy for writing. Given how faithfully he writes home, enclosing his "memorandums", one can feel for him when he laments the lack of return correspondence (especially when there are actual deliveries of mail, as opposed to the likelihood that mail was simply piling up somewhere upstream).

Certain editorial details are starting to feel redundant to me--like annotating each use of "M." (meridian) as meaning "noon", but although the use has almost gotten to the point of being comfortably familiar to me, I keep noting it, remembering how badly I'd stumble across each use at the beginning. I'm also starting to feel odd about "correcting" certain systematic spelling differences, such as Abiel's use of "acrost" where modern usage requires "across". I keep reminding myself that this version is meant to be easily readable by modern eyes, and that those who are interested in the details of 19th century usage can check out the original transcription.

Content Warning: graphic and gruesome descriptions of death in battle.

The Diary and Letters of Abiel Teple LaForge 1842-1878

Transcribed, edited, and annotated by Phyllis G. Jones (his great-granddaughter)

Copyright © 1993, Phyllis G. Jones, All rights reserved

September 1-19, 1864

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Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

It is a deep discomfort to me that I have often fallen into the stereotypical trap of arranging for my protagonists to be orphaned so that there aren't any pesky parental figures getting in the way of them being in peril and having adventures. In Daughter of Mystery it was a foundational element of their stories for Margerit and Barbara to be orphans. (Well, functionally, anyway. It's complicated in Barbara's case.) Antuniet wasn't an orphan in that first book, but she is by the time she gets to be a protagonist. Jeanne...well, I don' think Jeanne really counts as an "orphaned protagonist" because she's of an older generation and her parents might reasonably expect to have passed on. Serafina has deep attachments to her (living) father, but the loss of her mother is a significant driving force in her psyche (though it was the loss of the idea of her mother, even before the physical loss).

But I gave Luzie a large, loving, and very much living family--even though circumstances keep them apart much of the time. (Ok, except for her late husband, but I couldn't very well have him hanging around--then she wouldn't have this story.) I included the following scene to try to give a sense of what that family means to her, when they descend upon her house in Rotenek to support the performance of her opera.

Chapter 28 - Luzie

A ripple of laughter ran around the table as Chisillic carried in the moulded orange crème herself and placed on the sideboard for Gerta to serve.

“Now what’s this I hear about a shortage of oranges, Maistir Ovimen?” the cook asked.

Luzie watched her father repeat the comic tale, gesturing with those familiar hands, the fingers now knobbed with age. His hands might have lost the ability to play, but not the ability to draw a performance from others, whether the small consort assembled for the Tanfrit or the diners around her close-crowded table. She exchanged a glance with her mother and smiled as the years melted away.

Issibet was now chiming in with a counter story about the hard years during the French Wars, and the part a particular shipment of oranges had played in ensuring the success of a production they had both worked on. Luzie had been too young to understand the significance at the time, but she’d heard the story many times in years after and could almost convince herself she remembered that treasured sweetness.

She would remember this in the same way: how her brother Gauterd had made time from his contracted performances to join her production, how her parents had made the journey from Iuten not only to witness the debut of her opera, but to add to the preparations. Her father had stood listening to the rehearsals in an unused Academy building for only five minutes before he’d bluntly suggested that the musical direction be put into his hands. And those hands had coaxed the oddly assorted group of musicians and singers into a partnership. Even Benedetta Cavalli had abandoned her demands and airs at hearing that Iannik Ovimen had taken the reins. Luzie had forgotten the respect her father had commanded in his time. And it had been that gesture—treating her work as worthy of his labor—that had meant the most.

Half of her wished the boys could have been here—and Gauterd’s wife and children as well—but the other half was grateful to avoid that added distraction. And where would she have put them all? As it was she had surrendered her own room to her parents and imposed on Serafina to make space for her, while Gauterd commanded Alteburk’s room leaving the housekeeper to crowd in with the maids for the duration of the visit. No doubt there had been grumbling where she couldn’t hear it, but the atmosphere was more like a floodtide holiday where everyone laughingly made do for the sake of being together.

Though one might think there was enough music in their lives at the moment, with the performance only two days away, they gathered in the parlor in the evening, bringing in extra chairs from the dining room, and she accompanied Gauterd for violin concertos.

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

This finishes up the literary works that feature cross-dressing and gender disguise. These works may involve a number of other themes as well. Keep in mind that these tag essays are meant to identify thematic groups, but individual stories are rarely simple. In particular, if cross-dressing opens the window to an enduring love once a disguised woman's gender is revealed, or if the personal interactions within the disguise have more of a predatory flavor than an erotic one, then I've placed works on those more specific categories.

If it seems like a large proportion of the material in this group are English plays of the 16-17th century, one reason is the wealth of examples provided by Walen 2005. But the reason Walen was able to write such an extensive study on the topic is that gender-disguise plots were a particular favorite on the English stage at that time.

Literary Cross-dressing: Same-Sex Desire (Click here for the permanent tag essay with tag-links)

This group covers works where cross-dressing or gender disguise generates either the appearance or the reality of same-sex desire. This general principle covers a fairly wide variety of scenarios.

The simplest and most common case is where a woman passing as a man is desired by a woman who believes her to be male. This may be elaborated by having the passing woman respond to that desire and return it, or by the desire persisting even after the passing woman’s true gender has been revealed. (Given that these are works of literature, it is generally made clear that these episodes involve disguise, and not transgender identity.)

A second, somewhat more problematic type involves a man disguised as a woman, usually in order to gain sexual access to the woman in a gender-segregated environment, where the seduction includes convincing the woman to accept what she believes to be same-sex desire. Alternately, a heterosexual couple with the man taking on female disguise may behave in a way that onlookers perceive as involving same-sex erotics.

Another type of scenario involving deliberate misdirection may involve a woman passing as a man and deliberately courting a woman, often in order to distract her from a common (male) love interest or to damage her reputation. While these don’t technically involve same-sex desire, they do depict scenes that the consumer understands to involve same-sex erotics.

Some of the more convoluted gender-disguise plots include multiple layers of disguise (e.g., a woman disguised as a man who then “pretends” to be a woman). What the category has in common is that it introduces the audience to the possibility of same-sex love, and may involve characters arguing in support of the idea.

  • A Christian Turn’d Turke (Robert Daborne) - 17th century English play with orientalist themes in which a woman disguised as a boy attracts a woman’s erotic desire.

  • Alda (Guillaume de Blois) - 12th century French story in which a man disguising himself as a woman to get a woman in bed has to explain his penis as being “purchased in the market”.

  • Amadis de Gaule - 14th century Spanish romance that includes a cross-dressing female knight who attracts a woman’s desire and returns it.

  • Anecdotes of a Convent (Helen Williams) - 18th century English novel in which a girl being educated in a convent falls in love with a school-fellow, only to learn later it was a boy in disguise.

  • Arcadia (Philip Sidney) - 16th century English work in which a man disguises himself as an Amazon to gain access to the woman he desires. Includes her internal struggles to accept love for (who she believes to be) a woman.

  • As You Like It (William Shakespeare) - 16th century English play. One of Shakespeare’s several works that feature women falling in love with cross-dressed women.

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Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

So, I don't DNF (did not finish) books very often. If a book gets my attention enough to move up the list to having me start it, I generally want to give it the chance to show me what it's got. But I read one treadmill-session worth of Musketeer Space and then closed it and chose a new book. And I'd like to explain why, even if just to myself.

This is a good book. A very imaginative, well-crafted, well-written story. It takes The Three Musketeers, gender-flips it, adds some delicious diversity to the cast, then gives it a space opera setting where the Musketeers fly cyber-implant guided ships from their base at Paris Space Station. It's clever and funny and even manages to provide sympathetic and believable underpinnings to D'Artagnan's initial belligerent jackassishness.

But I didn't finish it--indeed, I barely started it. And the reason, as best I can explain, is that it doesn't feel like an interpretation of 3 Musketeers, but rather like a translation. I got a strong impression that I got all the essentials of the creative innovation in the first few chapters, but the story itself was going to run in precise parallel with the original. Which I have read. And don't feel like re-reading at this time.

I may be wrong--I could easily be wrong, given that I only scratched the beginning. And other than the story not being different enough from one I'd already read, there's nothing actually wrong with this book. It's a very well-written book. And if you're the sort of reader for whom the idea of diverse gender-flipped space musketeers is catnip--and especially if you've never actually read the story in the original (or if you think that wouldn't be a problem for you) then by all means let me know how much you enjoyed it!

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

The most common reaction I get to character demographics in the Alpennia books is, "OMG all the queer women, this is fabulous!" But very occasionally I get reactions along the lines of, "Why is everyone these characters hang out with a lesbian?" One of my first principles in historic research has always been, "If you find yourself asking 'Why is X true?' step back and ask, "Is X true?'"

There are two responses to the underlying question. The first is: Um...you do know that we hang out together on purpose, right? The second is to point out the saliency bias in this observation, because the actual proportion of lesbians in the social circles of my characters isn't as high as these reactions seem to indicate. So let's talk about both of those angles.

How many lesbians or bi women are part of Margerit and Barbara's immediate circle? In Margerit's family, she's the only one. Barbara is directly connected socially to Jeanne and to Antuniet. The only reason that Barbara and Jeanne are close socially is because they were lovers. This is not a matter of random chance or of coincidence. The social connection wouldn't exist without that past relationship. And what about Antuniet? Isn't it awfully coincidental that these two cousins both love women? Well, it's worth emphasizing that Antuniet is demisexual and that her sexual orientation is better described as "Jeanne-sexual" than as lesbian or bi. So that keeps bringing us back to Jeanne as a locus of the purported unbelievably high rate of lesbians in Rotenek society.

It has been made clear in several of the stories that Jeanne actively cultivates a discreet "inner circle" of women who love women. When she made invitations to the Floodtide party at Margerit's estate in Chalanz (in The Mystic Marriage) she was very specifically inviting women who knew about and participated in this part of her life. In fact, she's probably slept with most of them at some point. This is how life works, believe it or not, especially in closeted communities.

Even so, let's look at the sixteen women who formed that party: Margerit and Barbara as hosts, of course, Jeanne as organizer. Akezze is confirmed as straight and was present because she was accompanying Margerit for the summer as tutor. Antuniet is present because Jeanne specifically asked for her to be included and she already has ties of friendship and blood to Margerit and Barbara. Seven of the other eleven women are named. Tio Perzin is attracted to women and open-minded but she's also very happily married, and her friend Iaklin has been dragged along but is very definitely straight (and perhaps a touch scandalized to find what company she's in). Four of the other named five are noted as either married or having been married in the past. This is the reality of their lives. Yes, they love women, but this is not some implausibly separate and openly queer social group. This is people making deliberate connections of affinity within a society that doesn't recognize those relationships.

Once you start breaking down the details, the "coincidence" is far from coincidental. How large is Jeanne's "inner circle"? What percentage of Rotenek's high-society sapphists does it include? And what percentage of all of Rotenek society does it encompass? Is that percentage truly unbelievable? Given the characters on which the series focuses, it it unbelievable that members of this "inner circle" would appear repeatedly?

In point of fact, of the attendees at that party who are significant continuing minor characters (i.e., excluding the four viewpoint characters) we have Akezze (straight), Tio (in a committed heterosexual relationship), Helen Penilluk (most commonly mentioned as a society hostess and not for her discreet and entirely off-page relationships with women), and Marianiz Pertrez. (A marginal character. She features in passing in Mother of Souls--on the other hand, MoS was not included in the books that generated the "too many lesbians" reaction).

Looked at another way, of all the named women who are coded in my database as being "part of Jeanne's larger social set" (i.e., excluding servants and those "not part of society", and also excluding viewpoint characters) six are lovers of women and eight are not. (Probably more in the latter category by now because I have't updated the database entirely for relationships in Mother of Souls.) If you look at all the named women that Margerit interacts with socially, I think the only lesbian/bi one that she didn't meet through Jeanne is Serafina. Too much coincidence? But the specific reason that Serafina "came out" to Margerit is because she recognized the nature of Margerit and Barbara's relationship.

So, getting back to the question of "why does it feel like all the women my characters know are lesbians," the first answer is that they aren't. Only a small proportion of them are romantically interested in women, and not all of those act on it. The second answer is that, in a closeted society, it is a very natural and expected phenomenon for queer women to form close connections with other queer women and to maintain those connections even outside the bedroom. The third answer, of course, is that within all the possible stories there are to tell in Alpennia, I have deliberately chosen to tell the stories of queer women. This is frustrating to some of my readers and I don't necessarily intend to hold to it as a permanent rule, but at the moment it's been a guiding principle and will be for at least the next two books. Could I tell part of the story from Akezze's point of view? Absolutely. Would it be interesting to see what's going on through the eyes of Anna Monterrez? Definitely. (She gets at least a novelette sometime in the future, don't worry.)

Telling the larger story through the eyes of queer women is a deliberate choice--exactly as much of a choice as telling stories through straight points of view is for most authors, even when they don't realize or admit it. Personally, I find it unbelievable how few queer women there are in many stories. Now that is implausibly coincidental.

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

I am regularly stunned by the beauty of the observations Abiel has the time and presence of mind to make. This one has to be one of my favorites:

It is a beautiful night. I sit and look through the open end of my tent, on a hill half a mile off the signal Corps is busy sending and receiving mesages by aid of their rockets, roman candles, and different colored lights. They have a yellow light now, waving it to and fro. Now a Roman candle begins to burn: one yellow, two green, and two blue balls come from it. Looking to the right and left I see thousands of lights: the camp fires and candles of the 6th Corps en bivouac. What a grand spectacle it is! Looking up to the throne of him who rules the universe, we behold a magnificent heaven thickly studded with bright sparkling specks, which we are told by astronomers are inhabited like our world. Doubtless they are, but it can not be proved for we are unable (though we often desire to) to soar through intervening space and visit those celestial planets, and thus solve the mystery with which they are now surrounded.

The Diary and Letters of Abiel Teple LaForge 1842-1878

Transcribed, edited, and annotated by Phyllis G. Jones (his great-granddaughter)

Copyright © 1993, Phyllis G. Jones, All rights reserved

August 1864



Monday Aug 1st

We're up, breakfasted, and moved on towards Frederick at five A.M. Camped with the rest of the army in a grove a mile and one half West of the city about M. [i.e., noon] I got a pass and went into town just at dark. There did not appear to be as much excitement as I expected, for the rebs were rumored to be in Maryland in large force. Bought some necessary articles and returned to camp.

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Teaser Tuesday: Like Many Other Girls

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

I love answering reader questions about Alpennia. Did you know that? I received a lovely question on my Goodreads page yesterday about what my sources and inspirations were for Alpennian magic. Answering the question gave me a chance to pull up my "development diary" where I took notes about how my ideas developed and changed when I was first writing Daughter of Mystery. Check out my answer and feel free to ask more of your own (either at Goodreads or here). It was also interesting to learn of a new path by which a reader came to the Alpennia books!

One of the tropes that I find annoying in historic or fantasy adventures revolving around female characters it "Not Like Other Girls", where the character actively rejects the trappings of traditional femininity to demonstrate that she's worthy of being a protagonist and having adventures. So I've found it doubly annoying when readers have pointed to hints of that in my own stories. I confess that, for Margerit and Barbara, I can see how they might be interpreted as indulging in that trope. Barbara with her cross-dressing and sword-fighting, Margerit in being disinterested in balls and the other events of the Season, in favor of academic study. But I never meant to imply that traditional femininity is incompatible with adventure or great deeds, and I hope that the variety of my characters has demonstrated that. (If anything, I try to draw on real-world examples of women with fascinating occupations and adventures who felt no need to reject being female.)

It is true, however, that Margerit (in her secret heart) fears that the conventional attractions of society--of love and marriage and family--will prove and either/or choice for the students she teaches. And in the following passage, we see her struggling with that fear.

Chapter 27 - Margerit

There was a soft knock on the door, though she’d left it open in invitation. She looked up to see Valeir Perneld waiting. Margerit glanced over at the clock. Was she late for the thaumaturgy lecture? The girl’s expression combined excitement and trepidation.

“What is it, Valeir? You must have news to share. Come in.”

She still remembered her first meeting with Valeir, during one of the summers spent at Saveze. Valeir had been a student then, at the Orisul convent, just about to launch into her dancing season. The two of them had helped Sister Marzina devise and work a mystery to heal a little boy deaf from a fever. It had been a revelation to her how differently Valeir’s sonitus worked from her own visions. Now the girl was one of the strongest pupils in the thaumaturgy classes and a constant challenge to Margerit’s understanding.

“Maisetra Sovitre?” Valeir said. The excitement in her voice was infectious. “He asked last night. Petro Perfrit. We’re betrothed.”

For only a moment, disappointment ruled. No, I don’t want to lose you! But this was a time for congratulations and a wish for every joy. It would come to this more often than not. They would come to study and then move on to take up the roles of wives and mothers. It couldn’t be a matter of one or the other. She wouldn’t allow herself to think that education was a waste for girls who then chose the conventional path. That was the argument of those who saw no point to educating them at all beyond languages and the arts.

“We’ll miss you,” she said, as she released Valeir from a quick embrace.

“That’s what I—that is, Petro and I—we wanted to ask about.”

Margerit glanced at the clock once more. A quarter of an hour before her lecture. She gestured Valeir to the chair facing her own and sat.

“What’s this about?”

“I was thinking,” Valeir began. “And I asked Petro because I don’t think I could have married him if he said no. I want to finish my studies first. Before the wedding. Petro agreed, but my papa doesn’t like it. He’s afraid Petro will change his mind if I put him off for two more years. I was wondering—would you speak to him? To my father, that is?”

Now that was unexpected. A fiancé who was willing to wait for a girl to complete her degree? Or at least as much of a degree as they’d be able to offer her. But… Petro Perfrit. She remembered that name now, though it had been years. He’d been part of the late lamented Guild of Saint Atelpirt, the student guild she’d joined that had ended in the disastrous castellum mystery. She searched in memory. A quiet man, not sensitive to fluctus but solid in his approach to theory. A partisan of the Dowager Princess, but so many of them had been and that was all in the past now. It was odd to think that her own example in that guild might have influenced his willingness to choose and champion a scholar-wife.

“Yes, of course I will,” she answered. “You’ve made a good choice in Maistir Perfrit. I don’t know that your father will listen to me, though.”


“He will,” Valeir said.

Originally published at Alpennia.com. You can comment here or there.

When we shift from historic individuals to literary figures, there's a corresponding shift in the emphasis within types of motifs. The reasons women might choose to pass as men in real life were often economic or practical. In literature, there must be a reason that is important to the plot. Given how (relatively) common it was in real life, cross-dressing to join the military is fairly rare in fiction, outside of the specific genre of "female cabin boy" ballads. And when literary cross-dressing is done for the purpose of establishing a same-sex romantic or domestic relationship, it is typically either played as fraud or played for humor. Historic women who passed in male occupations might be inspired by the wage gap, but in literature they more typically represent a commentary on gender essentialism (either for or against).

This first group of examples don't touch on the same-sex possibilities of the masquerade, or at least, not as the primary function. If you notice a rather large number of 19th century German novels included, that's due to the very detailed examination of this genre in Krimmer. The next group to be covered will be the somewhat more exciting category of cross-dressing situations that create either the appearance or the reality of same-sex attraction and love.

For the permanent Tag Essay on Literary Cross-dressing with associate tag-links, click here.

Literary Cross-dressing: General

This groups covers works that include cross-dressing that don't fall in one of the more specific categories. That is, although the cross-dressing may challenge gender norms or represent appropriation of male prerogatives, in these works theres is not a focus on creating the potential for same-sex erotics (although it may be a minor element). The examples included here only scratch the surface of this motif in literature, and there is some skewing toward particular literary contexts, such as 19th century Germany, because of the publications that they've been drawn from. Unlike the historic examples of cross-dressing, I haven't separated out the military examples.

  • A New System of Freedom (Charlotte von Stein) - 19th century German novel with subversive, cross-dressing working class characters.
  • Albert und Albertine (Friederike Unger) - 19th century German novel in which foreign cross-dressing woman critiques gender concepts.
  • Brynhildr - The valkyrie Brynhildr has connections to the “maiden warrior” motif appearing in medieval Norse sources, which typically includes cross-dressing.
  • Cheat upon Cheat - An English ballad (1683) involving marriage to a cross-dressed woman.
  • Clemens Brentano's Spring Wreath (Bettina Brentano-von Arnim) - 19th century German epistolary novel that interrogates gender with several characters including a cross-dressing amazonian figure.
  • Comical News from Bloomsbury - An English ballad (1690) involving marriage to a cross-dressed woman.
  • Conte du Roi Flore et de la belle Jehane - 13th century Fraco-Flemish romance in which a calumniated wife cross-dresses to serve her husband as his squire.
  • Darthula According to Ossian (Karoline von Günderrode) - 19th century German heroic poem in which a princess cross-dresses to avenge her family.
  • Decameron (Boccacio) - 14th century Italian collection of tales, including one about the Zinevra, who cross-dresses to redeem her good name.
  • Eddas - A collection of early medieval Norse tales, including some involving a woman cross-dressing and taking a male role to avenge a father.
  • Fiesco's Conspiracy at Genoa (Friedrich Schiller) - 18th century German novel that includes themes of cross-dressing and gender.
  • Florentin (Dorothea Schlegel) - 19th century German novel that includes themes of cross-dressing and gender.
  • Franz Sternbald's Migrations (Ludwig Tieck) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • From the Life of a Good-for-Nothing (Joseph von Eichendorff) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Godwi (Clemens Brentano) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Goethe's Correspondence with a Child  (Bettina Brentano-von Arnim) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing and gender-bending themes.
  • Gynaikeion (Thomas Heywood) - This1624 English medical text recounts a story of a 2nd century Athenian woman who cross-dresses to become a surgeon.
  • Hervarar saga ok Heidhreks - Early medieval Norse saga concerning a woman who cross-dresses and takes on a male role to avenge her father.
  • Histories (Saxo Grammaticus) - Early medieval germanic legendary histories that include several stories of women cross-dressing to temporarily take a male role.
  • Hrólfs saga Gautrekssonar - Early medieval Norse saga concerning a woman who cross-dresses and takes on a male role to avenge her father.
  • Isabella of Egypt (Achim von Arnim) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Lucinde (Friedrich Schlegel) - 18th century German novel with themes of androgyny.
  • Magnus saga jarls - 14th century Icelandic saga that includes an episode where a woman cross-dresses to trick her husband.
  • Mary Ambree - 16th century English broadside ballad about a woman who cross-dresses for military action.
  • Mora (Karoline von Günderrode) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Poets and Their Companions (Joseph von Eichendorff) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Premonition and Present (Joseph von Eichendorff) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Robin Hood - A medieval English folk-hero whose stories sometimes include cross-dressing themes.
  • The Family Schroffenstein (Heinrich von Kleist) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • The Female Cabin Boy - 18th century English broadside ballad about a woman who cross-dresses to become a sailor. Also the name of an entire genre of works with this theme.
  • The Female Highway Hector - 17th century English poem about a cross-dressing female outlaw.
  • The Günderode (Bettina Brentano-von Arnim) - 19th century German novel with themes of gender nonconformity.
  • The Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare) - 16th century English play with a woman who cross-dresses for a male occupation.
  • The Roaring Girl (Thomas Dekker and Thomas MIddleton) - 17th century English play fictionalizing the life of a historic cross-dressing woman.
  • The Scornful Damsels Overthrow - An English ballad (1685) involving marriage to a cross-dressed woman.
  • The Two Emilies (Charlotte von Stein) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • The Woman Warrier - English poem (1690) about a  woman who cross-dressed for the military.
  • Vilette (Charlotte Brontë) - 19th century English novel in which cross-dressed theatricals create homoerotic potential.
  • Wilhelm Dumont (Karoline Paulus) - 19th century German novel with cross-dressing themes.
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) - 18th century German novel with multiple cross-dressing characters.

Next Steps

 I suppose the next step in being serious about following people on Dreamwidth is identifying who's doing the DW > LJ thing and pruning my LJ reading list to avoid duplication. I've been meaning to prune the LJ list for some time anyway.  It doesn't really affect reading--I almost never post anything locked--though it does mean I have to manually approve LJ comments from people I'm not following. I rather like the way DW has separated the functions of "allow this person rights regarding my account" and "I want to read everything this person writes."

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January 2017


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