This book explores representations of love and desire between female characters in nearly seventy plays written between 1580 and 1660. The work argues that playwrights of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England recognized and constructed richly diverse tropes of female homoerotic desire. Writers place female characters in erotic situations with other female characters in playful scenarios of mistaken identity, in anxious moments of amorous intrigue, in predatory situations and in enthusiastic, utopian representations of romantic love. These plays indicate an awareness of female homoeroticism in early modern England and belie statements that literary evidence of homosexuality was concerned primarily with men.
About the Author
DENISE WALEN is Associate Professor of Drama at Vassar College, USA.