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Tragedy in Tights

Rosemary Hill: Poor Queen Caroline, 22 June 2006

Rebel Queen: The Trial of Caroline 
by Jane Robins.
Simon and Schuster, 370 pp., £20, June 2006, 0 7432 4862 7
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... less innocent amusement to the population at large. It is a story that bears retelling, and though Jane Robins makes no claims to have discovered anything new, she has enough insights and emphases of her own to make her deftly written account of the trial and its consequences worthwhile. It was not until 1794, when he was 32, that George, still Prince of ...

More Husband than Female

Sharon Marcus: Gender Renegades, 17 June 2021

Female Husbands: A Trans History 
by Jen Manion.
Cambridge, 350 pp., £17.99, March 2020, 978 1 108 48380 3
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Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from 19th-Century France 
by Rachel Mesch.
Stanford, 344 pp., £24.99, May 2020, 978 1 5036 0673 9
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... female husbands chose to live as men, I refer to them using male pronouns.Mesch’s first subject, Jane Dieulafoy (b. 1851), was a French patriot, a Catholic, an archaeologist and a sharpshooter in the Franco-Prussian War. They were married to the engineer and archaeologist Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy and together the couple undertook a number of expeditions to ...

At Tate Britain

Rosemary Hill: Aubrey Beardsley, 24 September 2020

... thin and hollow-eyed with long fingers and a large nose, he seemed to the actress Elizabeth Robins, who met him at a lunch party, to be merely the ‘uncertain ghost of Oscar’. Tate Britain’s exhibition (until 20 September) demonstrates how deceptive the cultivated appearance was, revealing the sheer scale of Beardsley’s industry and the ...

Dining Room Radicals

Rosemary Hill, 7 April 2022

Dinner with Joseph Johnson: Books and Friendship in a Revolutionary Age 
by Daisy Hay.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, April, 978 1 78474 018 4
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... Trimmer, the mother of ten surviving children, pioneered illustrated books, using a family of robins to tell Fabulous Histories. Trimmer came into Johnson’s orbit at about the same time as Wollstonecraft, and on at least one occasion they came to dinner together. They seem to have been on friendly terms until the publication of A Vindication of the ...

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