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This blog title is the polar opposite of my own attitude, and the fact that the author of the paper I'm covering today states it in his conclusions might go some way to illustrating why I find his research frustrating and annoying. The rest of my commentary on this point is interleaved with my summary of the article.

My commentary on this article has been incorporated into a final paragraph, rather than being placed here in the introduction. Overall, I think Hitchcock makes a fascinating case for connecting various historical trends across the 18th century. But I think he has significant blind spots as well. I think that trends in age at first marriage and overall marriage rates cannot be separated from economic patterns that make it more or less possible for women (especially) to be economically viable outside the marriage economy.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 41b - The Highwaywoman Special (Reprise)

(Originally aired 2017/09/30, this airing 2019/12/14 - listen here)

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 41a - On the Shelf for December 2019 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2019/12/07 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for December 2019.

One of the creative aspects of organizing a large "dump" of journal articles into a sequence of presentation is identifying clusters of common themes. This article would fit in several places within the group of articles I'm currently processing. I'll be running an extended set of studies of the intersection of friendship and romance in March and April. (Yes, I currently have blogs drafted up through April.

There's a certain type of book structure that always makes me wonder if the work has its origins in the author's doctoral thesis. (I mean, in the specific subject matter and organization, not simply in the themes.) I have no idea whether that's the case for Dinshaw's Getting Medieval, but it has the earmarks that raise that suspicion: a group of highly focused discussions of specific works, people, or events, tied together by--and featuring a conclusion referencing--an overall theme that operates at a tangent to the objective content of the material.

One of the minor themes in this chapter of Dinshaw is the tantalizing window that a detailed legal record can provide of what must certainly have been a more widespread phenomenon. John/Eleanor Rykener is a popular example of gender disruption and category challenge in medieval England, but as Dinshaw points out (in the book--I haven't had space to discuss it all here), there is tangential evidence for that probably "more widespread" context.

One tricky problem in trying to identify homoerotic practices in the pre-modern West is the rhetorical layer in which accusations of sodomy (or, at times, tribadry) were used as a generic insult or strategic accusation in contexts where actual specific sexual practices may have been irrelevant. Thus, in a context where two groups (Lollards and orthodox writers) simultaneously charge each other with sodomy, are we to look for shades of meaning and context in which both charges might be literally true?

Some works loom large in a historic field without necessarily providing new bodies of data for that field. In fact, to a large extent, one might view the writing of historians to divide (somewhat messily) into "the presentation of facts" and "the interpretation of the presentation of facts." With an additional category of "the interpretation of the interpretation of the presentation of facts."

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 40e - “The Mermaid” by Kathleen Jowitt - transcript

(Originally aired 2019/11/30 - listen here)


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