Queer Others in Victorian Gothic

Transgressing Monstrosity

Author(s) Ardel Haefele-Thomas

Language: English

Genre(s): History

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • March 2012 ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9780708324653
  • · eBook - pdf - 9780708324660
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783164998

About The Book

Queer Others in Victorian Gothic: Transgressing Monstrosity explores the intersections of Gothic, cultural, gender, queer, socio-economic and postcolonial theories in nineteenth-century British representations of sexuality, gender, class and race. From mid-century authors like Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell to fin-de-siecle writers such as J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Florence Marryat and Vernon Lee, this study examines the ways that these Victorian writers utilized gothic horror as a proverbial 'safe space' in which to grapple with taboo social and cultural issues. This work simultaneously explores our current assumptions about a Victorian culture that was monolithic in its disdain for those who were 'other'.


Ardel Haefele-Thomas's 'Queer Others in Victorian Gothic' in Wales's series Gothic Literary Studies applies Queer and Postcolonial theory to the Gothic fiction of Collins, Gaskell, Haggard, Le Fanu, Marryat, and Vernon Lee - with surprising results. In richly historicized contexts, Haefele-Thomas reveals refined explorations of Otherness in Victorian literature, as well as complicated empathies and tolerances that unsettle our critical assumptions. Teaching on a daily basis in San Francisco's LGBT community, Haefele-Thomas has provided an accessible genealogy of our contemporary boundary crossings. It is a superb application of theory to literary history and to the present. Regenia Gagnier Professor of English, University of Exeter and President, British Association for Victorian Studies


Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: The Spinster and the Hijra: How Queers Save Heterosexual Marriage in Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White and The Moonstone Chapter Three: Escaping Heteronormativity: Queer Family Structures in Elizabeth Gaskell's Lois the Witch and 'The Grey Woman' Chapter Four: Disintegrating Binaries, Disintegrating Bodies: Queer Imperial Transmogrifications in H. Rider Haggard's She Chapter Five: '"One Does Things Abroad That One Would Not Dream Of Doing In England"': Miscegenation and Queer Female Vampirism in J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla and Florence Marryat's The Blood of the Vampire Chapter Six: In Defense of Her Queer Community: Vernon Lee's Coded Decadent Gothic

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Ardel Haefele-Thomas

Ardel Haefele-Thomas is a Victorian and Queer Studies scholar and Chair of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at City College of San Francisco.

Read more



Enjoy 70% off over 300 titles!