Sappho in Early Modern England: Female Same-Sex Literary Erotics, 1550-1714
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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Anne Lister Anne’s Aphra Behn Barker behaviors Behn’s Calisto Calisto myth Cavendish chastity circulated classical clitoris conﬁrm contemporary conventional court Crowne’s cultural deﬁned deﬁnition Delarivier Manley describe desire Diana Diana’s nymphs discourse Donne Donne’s duchess early modern England edition eighteenth century emotional English Ephelia erotic ellipsis erotic relations eroticism example expression female friendship female same-sex erotics female same-sex relations ﬁgures Finch ﬁnd ﬁrst friends gender heterosexual Heywood historical Homosexuality identiﬁed identity intimacy Jane Barker Katherine Philips Killigrew Lady language Latin Leapor Lesbian literary London lover Lucasia male friendship Manley manuscript marriage Mary of Modena masculinity narrative nymphs Orinda Ovid’s Ovidian passion pastoral Phaon Philaenis Philips’s platonic play pleasures poems poet poetic poetry Queen Anne Renaissance representations romantic friendship same-sex sexuality Sappho Sarah Jennings seventeenth century sixteenth social Soul speaker subculture suggests texts Thomas thou tion tradition translation tribadism vernacular woman women writers writing