A Victorian Novelist Attempts To Write Queer Characters Without Getting Censored
They were simply good friends! Barely even friends. They had never met, actually.
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The Resident At Christopher St.
He was a peculiar man, certainly. He was not peculiar for his stature, nor his gait, nor his standing in society. Yes, he held an interest in astrology, but that was not peculiar either. Nor was it peculiar that he did receive fifteen hundred a month, as was the custom of the day. He did, however, from time to time, entertain a close friend in his flat, and hopefully by now one gets the gist of the exact way in which he was “peculiar” without having to come out and say it.
A Fabulous Socialite
A woman of style, Miss Hughes delighted the less adventurous with her daring taste. Sometimes she appeared as a coquette, with a curl of hair daintily askew. Sometimes she appeared as a dandy, in colorful suits and a handsome boot. She was known as a socialite, with a surprising array of close friends, both men and women, and everyone agreed she was incredibly brave for it. Also brave? This author, for including Miss Hughes in the narrative at all.
A Most Amiable Correspondence!
Miss Whitlock and Miss Davies composed each other letters throughout the month: “I do so admire you,” “no I do so admire YOU,” “I find you quite admirable,” “perhaps we should admire one another in person, at Mrs. Shaw’s salon this coming fortnight,” and so forth. They were friends, but not yet close friends, and that made it all the more exciting, especially given that at any point they could be tried for profanity for using the word “admirable.”
On Matters Of Public Perception
Beverly opened the closet with a great deal of incredulity. How was one to choose between dandy, gentleman, ruffian, spinster, lonely governess etc. for the day’s appearance? In fact, it was all so overwhelming that Beverly didn’t dress or go outside at all, and became a side character who was always wandering indoors in a nightgown.
A Web Of Close Friendship
“Previously,” said Mr. Ashley, “I was close friends with Mr. Chattermore, however our close friendship grew more distant when he became even closer friends with Mr. Allen and Mr. Griffiths, who are themselves close friends of each other but the latter of whom also previously had been a close friend of mine, because their friendship is an open close friendship. But the thing is, recently Mr. Chattermore has been insisting that we revive our close friendship, collectively, hence my confusion.” In a sobering turn of events, they were all arrested for indecency later that day after being accused of having wrists.
The Ladies Who Cross-Stitched
The women spent the night sitting chastely side by side, making small cross-stitch patterns with unmentionable sayings on them, a twinkle of close friendship in their eyes, and nothing else happened. At all.
The Leather Shoppe
Upon noticing Mr. Phillips had taken interest in the hardware, the leather thonger, eager for a sale, approached.
“Perhaps you’ll find these useful in entertaining a close friend or two.” said the craftsman, gesturing to several sturdy riding crops.
“Oh,” said Mr. Phillips, flushed by the brazenness of the leathersmith, whose strong arms seemed so assured, in both the crafting and sale of goods, “It’s not a particularly close friendship. It’s actually more of an acquaintanceship that happens once a month. Even though we all know it shouldn’t,” he added, nervously, “because of God.”
La Douleur… De L’amitié Intime
Miss Wood returned from her studies in France quite distressed. Though she had enjoyed the countryside and the cuisine, she had developed a close friendship with a French countrywoman, Miss Chevalier, with whom she had explored the streets and coffeeshops of Paris, and, upon their parting, had become quite inconsolable.
“Aah, well, there is no greater delight than going to Paris with a close friend,” said Madame Clarke, who had herself taken a semester abroad in France in her younger years.
“Oh yes,” said Miss Wood, gripping the arm of the settee rather strongly, “We went to Paris over and over. It seemed we would never tire… of the sights of Paris.” Miss Wood eventually succumbed to hysteria, and the author’s manuscript was finally seen by a publisher.
Close Friends Indeed!
The two men, both unmarried professors, were buried in a single grave, literally on top of one another. They were close fr— in fact, they were barely even that, one might say they were more like roommates.