Mapping Male Sexuality: Nineteenth-Century England

By Jay Losey; William D. Brewer | Go to book overview

Homosexuality at the Closet Threshold in
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea”

ANDRÉ L. DECUIR

ONE MIGHT FIND IT ODD TO BEGIN A STUDY OF A POSSIBLE ACKNOWLedgment of male homosexual identity in a piece of Victorian fiction with a reference to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s most famous work, the vampire tale, “Carmilla.” Critical attention has almost always centered on the homoerotic relationship between Laura, the narrator of the story, and the vampire, Carmilla. Nina Auerbach asserts in Our Vampires, Ourselves, perhaps the most recent work to analyze “Carmilla,” that “Carmilla is one of the few self-accepting homosexuals in Victorian or any literature.”1

The perceived relationship between the two women in the story has led inevitably to speculation about Le Fanu’s own sexuality, but the sparse critical studies of Le Fanu’s life and works provide no conclusive evidence that Le Fanu was either a practicing or latent homosexual. W. J. McCormack in Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland, perhaps the definitive study of Le Fanu, points out that “Le Fanu’s last five years [he died in 1873] were passed largely in isolation”2 and that “for the year 1870 virtually nothing is known, apart from his non-payment of bills and non-attendance at church.”3 McCormack alludes to the writer’s sexual identity in one line: “That Le Fanu may have been a latent homosexual has a certain clinical interest.”4

This essay certainly does not attempt to set forth irrefutable evidence of Le Fanu’s homosexual identity. Rather, through a close reading of the short story, “Green Tea,” with the lens provided by recent gay literary criticism, I wish to show that Le Fanu was certainly aware of same-sex desire which undoubtedly manifested itself within enclaves of accepted examples of masculinity: circles of professional men such as those in the Victorian medical profession.

While McCormack does not make any claims about Le Fanu as

-198-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mapping Male Sexuality: Nineteenth-Century England
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 376

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.