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Mary Barber of Suffolk and Ann Chitting

16th century(?) English women whose close relationship was commemorated by Barber’s son who buried Chitting alongside Barber, given equal place with her husband.

LHMP entry

Chapter 1 - Thinking Sex: Knowledge, Opacity, History

The chapter begins with a survey of the types of published materials that led Lanser to identify the late 16th century as a shifting point in the discourse around sapphic topics. In 1566 a Swiss writer provides an account of a French woman who disguised herself as a man, worked as a stable groom and then a wine grower, married another woman, was eventually unmasked, and was executed. He notes “how our century can boast that beyond all the evils of the preceding ones” and explicitly disclaims any connection between events such as this and the “tribades in ancient times”.

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