How to Make a Heterosexual Romance Queer: Anna Marsden’s Experiment and the Limits of Sexual/Gendered Inversion

Laura Chilcoat (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Anna Marsden’s Experiment builds on the generic conventions of New Woman novels in order to interject a radically queer character who first appears to follow the normative paths of cross dressing within the genre, but this novel plays with audience assumptions and sexological discourse in order to show the limits that still existed within this growing pseudo science. Williams successfully critiques the limited understanding of gender in New Woman fiction, sexology, and British society in general. Anna/Dick cannot be contained or understood singularly as a heterosexual woman, an inverted woman, a heterosexual man, or an inverted man. An academic reclaiming of this novel not only allows for a greater understanding of lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans characters in historical literature, but also provides an excellent case study in the connections between the “sexual anarchy” of the fin de siècle and the nonnormative female experience in early twentieth century modernist fiction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-151
    Number of pages21
    JournalEnglish Literature in Transition, 1880-1920
    Volume60
    Issue number2
    Early online date4 Dec 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • queer
    • transgender
    • Victorian literature

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'How to Make a Heterosexual Romance Queer: Anna Marsden’s Experiment and the Limits of Sexual/Gendered Inversion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this