Queer Dickens: Erotics, Families, Masculinities

Paperback | August 22, 2013

byHolly Furneaux

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This book offers a radically new reading of Dickens and his major works. It demonstrates that, rather than representing a largely conventional, conservative view of sexuality and gender, he presents a distinctly queer corpus, everywhere fascinated by the diversity of gender roles, theexpandability of notions of the family, and the complex multiplicity of sexual desire. The book examines the long overlooked figures of bachelor fathers, maritally resistant men, and male nurses. It explores Dickens's attention to a longing, not to reproduce, but to nurture, his interest in healingtouch, and his articulation, over the course of his career, of homoerotic desire. Holly Furneaux places Dickens's writing in a broad literary and social context, alongside authors including Bulwer-Lytton, Tennyson, Braddon, Collins, and Whitman, to make a case for Dickens's central position in queer literary history. Examining novels, poetry, life-writing, journalism, and legaland political debates, Queer Dickens argues that this eminent Victorian can direct us to the ways in which his culture could, and did, comfortably accommodate homoeroticism and families of choice. Further, it contends that Dickens's portrayals of nurturing masculinity and his concern with touch andaffect between men challenge what we have been used to thinking about Victorian ideals of maleness. Queer Dickens intervenes in current debates about the Victorians (neither so punitive nor so prudish as we once imagined) and about the methodologies of the histories of the family and of sexuality. It makes the case for a more optimistic, nurturing, and life-affirming trajectory in queertheory.

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This book offers a radically new reading of Dickens and his major works. It demonstrates that, rather than representing a largely conventional, conservative view of sexuality and gender, he presents a distinctly queer corpus, everywhere fascinated by the diversity of gender roles, theexpandability of notions of the family, and the comp...

Dr Holly Furneaux is Lecturer in Victorian Studies at the University of Leicester. Queer Dickens, her first monograph, draws on her interests in nineteenth-century literature, histories of sexuality, and Victorian cultures of feeling. She has published articles in Nineteenth Century Literature, Philological Quarterly, and The Dickensia...

other books by Holly Furneaux

Charles Dickens in Context
Charles Dickens in Context

Kobo ebook|Jun 2 2011

$46.49 online$60.37list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:August 22, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199680728

ISBN - 13:9780199680726

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Telling it Straight: Dickens in a Queer Context1. Reconfiguring the Domestic: Bachelor Dads2. Serial Bachelorhood and Counter-Marital Plotting3. Families of Choice: Homoerotic Intermarriage and Sibling Triangulation4. Homotropics: Queer Travels and New Homelands5. "It is impossible to be Gentler: The Homoerotics of Nursing6. The Gentle Man's Queer Touch: Reparative MasculinitiesPostscript: Doing Dickens: The Queer Politics of Adaptation

Editorial Reviews

`an ambitious and provocative study ... a welcome addition to our scholarly attempts to understand the Victorians and their (which is to say, our) sexualities.' Mark W. Turner, Modern Language Review