Cross-dressing in Sarah Grand's The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworth's The Hidden Hand

Cross-dressing in Sarah Grand's The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworth's The Hidden Hand

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Cross-dressing in Sarah Grand's The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworth's The Hidden Hand gender, class, and power
Murray, Marcy Wynn
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[Tampa, Fla]
University of South Florida
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Victorian literature
The heavenly twins
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- Doctoral or Masters -- USF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
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non-fiction ( marcgt )


This thesis concerns female cross-dressing in nineteenth-century literature and the ways in which these images challenge gender and class hierarchies. Cross-dressing abounds in nineteenth-century literature, forming a thematic that crosses national boundaries. Therefore, this thesis considers works from both the British and American traditions. The primary texts explored are The Tenor and the Boy (1893) by Sarah Grand and The Hidden Hand, or Capitola the Madcap (1888) by E. D. E. N. Southworth. When published, both of these texts were commercial successes and can therefore be considered representative of popular literature of the time. The use of transvestite characters allows these authors to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gender and class roles. When cross-dressed, female characters cross both gender and class lines and participate in usually taboo arenas. For the most part, they are depicted as successful; at times, they might even be considered role models.The thesis contains four chapters: the introductory chapter which sets up definitions, briefly discusses cross-dressing's literary tradition in the west, and establishes the atmosphere in which these books were written and received; the next two chapters each examine a primary text--- The Tenor and the Boy, followed by The Hidden Hand; and the final chapter summarizes and concludes the work.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Marcy Wynn Murray.

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Cross-dressing in Sarah Grand's The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworth's The Hidden Hand :
b gender, class, and power
h [electronic resource] /
by Marcy Wynn Murray.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
3 520
This thesis concerns female cross-dressing in nineteenth-century literature and the ways in which these images challenge gender and class hierarchies. Cross-dressing abounds in nineteenth-century literature, forming a thematic that crosses national boundaries. Therefore, this thesis considers works from both the British and American traditions. The primary texts explored are The Tenor and the Boy (1893) by Sarah Grand and The Hidden Hand, or Capitola the Madcap (1888) by E. D. E. N. Southworth. When published, both of these texts were commercial successes and can therefore be considered representative of popular literature of the time. The use of transvestite characters allows these authors to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gender and class roles. When cross-dressed, female characters cross both gender and class lines and participate in usually taboo arenas. For the most part, they are depicted as successful; at times, they might even be considered role models.The thesis contains four chapters: the introductory chapter which sets up definitions, briefly discusses cross-dressing's literary tradition in the west, and establishes the atmosphere in which these books were written and received; the next two chapters each examine a primary text--- The Tenor and the Boy, followed by The Hidden Hand; and the final chapter summarizes and concludes the work.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation or thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 68 pages.
Adviser: Elizabeth Hirsh, Ph.D.
Victorian literature.
The heavenly twins.
Dissertations, Academic
x English
Doctoral or Masters.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Cross-Dressing in Sarah Grands The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworths The Hidden Hand : Gender, Class, and Power by Marcy Wynn Murray A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Elizabeth Hirsh, Ph.D. Marilyn Myerson, Ph.D. Nancy Tyson, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 14, 2006 Keywords: androgeny, Victorian literature, the heavenly tw ins, gender, transvestite Copyright 2006, Marcy Wynn Murray


i Table of Contents Abstract....................................................................................................................... ........ii Basic Training: An Introductino to Gender, Clothing, and Class in the Nineteenth-Century Contex.............................................................................................1 Gender......................................................................................................................2 Clothing..................................................................................................................11 Nineteenth-Century Atmosphere and Class Structure...........................................14 The Angel Leaps to Earth: Sarah Grands The Tenor and the Boy.................................. 18 A Most Brillant Madness: Capitolas Genius in E.D.E.N in Southworths The Hidden Hand .................................................................................................................32 Reflections and Conclusions..............................................................................................48 The Final Word......................................................................................................50 Bibliography................................................................................................................... ...52 Appendices.........................................................................................................................61 Appendix A Illustrations.......................................................................................62 Endnotes.............................................................................................................................68


ii Cross-Dressing in Sarah Grands The Tenor and the Boy and E.D.E.N Southworths The Hidden Hand : Gender, Class, and Power Marcy Wynn Murray ABSTRACT This thesis concerns female cross-dressing in nineteenth-century literature and the ways in which these images challenge gender and class hierarchies. Cr oss-dressing abounds in nineteenth-century literature, forming a thematic that crosses national boundaries. Therefore, this thesis considers works from both the British and Amer ican traditions. The primary texts explored are The Tenor and the Boy (1893) by Sarah Grand and The Hidden Hand, or Capitola the Madcap (1888) by E. D. E. N. Southworth. When published, both of these texts were commercial successes and can therefore be considered representative of popular literature of the time. The use of transvestite char acters allows these authors to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gender and class roles. When cross-dressed, female characters cross both gender and class lines and participat e in usually taboo arenas. Fo r the most part, they are depicted as successful; at times, they might even be considered role models.


iii The thesis contains four chapters: the introductory chapter which sets up definitions, briefly discusses cross-dressings literary tradition in the west, and establishes the atmosphere in which these books were writte n and received; the ne xt two chapters each examine a primary text--The Tenor and the Boy, followed by The Hidden Hand ; and the final chapter summarizes and concludes the work.


1 Basic Training: An Introduction to Gender, Clothing, & Class in the Nineteenth-Century Context God will turn away from this entirely self-made creature, an amalgam of both sexes, who owes his origin to no force in heaven or earth. There is a kind of reckless defiance of all natu ral laws at the center of [] transvestism i [;] it is one which evokes images of chaos and instability. (Ackroyd 147) As the above quotation indicates, transv estism is interpreted in terms of chaos and instability. This is evident throughout the nineteenth-century novels that contain transvestite characters. Much of this chaos and instability arises from the challenge cross-dressing presents to a dichotomous cultures gender and class hierarchies. Carol Smith-Rosenberg sees late nineteenth-century social Darwinism, eugenics, [and] sexology all as parts of a metaphoric discourse in which the physical body symbolized th e social body, and physical and sexual disorder stood for social discord and dange r (40). By disrupting the stability of the gender hierarchy, transvestism indi cates the potential disruption to the stability of the social hierarchy. The au thors of nineteenthcentury texts that contain transvestite characters understood the potential of this disruption and used transvestism in their texts as a form of social protest. Before turning to the specific texts analyzed in this thesis, three key themes must be examined. They are gende r, the role of clothing, and the social


2 atmosphere and class structure of the nineteenth-century. A general understanding of these themes and how they relate to the societies in which these works were produced is essential. Gender Gender is of course essential to a ny discussion involving transvestism. Judith Lorber points out that: It is the soci al importance of gender stat uses and their external markersclothing, mannerisms, and spatial segregation that makes gend er bending or gender cro ssing possible or even necessary. The social viability of differentiated gender statuses produces the need or desire to shift statuses. Without gender differentiati on, transvestism [] would be meaningless. (27) There are several aspects of gender that ar e important to this thesis. These aspects are: (1) genders definition and stereotype s; (2) its relationship to identity; (3) the power struggles involved within its di chotomies; (4) the concept of androgyny; and (5) literatures role as a filter that helps society come to terms with the threat implicit in challenges to gender. Although gender and sex have frequently been conflated, it is important for a study of transvestism to keep them distinct. Theorists now contend that because, the body is itself always seen th rough social interpretation, then sex is not separate from gender, but is that which is subsumable under it (Nicholson 53). This subsumation of sex under gender still implies a distinction between them and for our purposes here, Rudol ph Dekkers statement: ones sex is determined by physical characteristics; ones gender is determined by clothing,


3 behavior, speech, and all the other external characteristics (48) will be applied. This statement is useful for our purposes because it focuses on gender as a constructed state. It is the constructed aspect of gender that threatens a sexually dichotomized society because if gender is determined to be something other than innately biological, it becomes dynamic. When gender ceases to be a primary, essential characteristic and becomes what we make of sex on a daily basis, how we deploy our embodiedness and our multivalen t sexualities in order to construct ourselves (Epstein, Julia 3), it threaten s a sexually hierarchical society that claims the superiority of the higher placed sex as innate and unchangeable. If stereotypes are one of the m eans by which a sexually dichotomous society affirms hierarchies, then indi viduals who do not conform to the gender stereotypes for their sex are problematic For example, if a society holds in common the belief that all women are, by vi rtue of their sex, physically weak, and that all men are physically strong and that stronger is better, th en it follows that women must be lower than men in a hierarchical ranking. Women raised under this assumption are trained from childhood to believe they are less than men. The few women who refuse to conform to this stereotyped conditioning are labeled (at the least) unnatural. They are often looked upon as outcasts and oddities. Such a society also incorporates stereotypes to es tablish, at a glance, the social categories to which an individual bel ongs. It therefore follows that in order to rise above ones lesser rank (of either class or gender) in this externally classified hierarchy, one must appear to be what one is not. For example, if an individual wants to appear to belong to the upper cl ass of a society, he or she would dress in


4 expensive clothing. And if an individual wa nts to appear to belong to the higher sexual class of a society, he or she wo uld dress in that sexs costume. Lorber notes that transvestites in corporate the use of established stereotypes to assume their cross-dressed identity. ii Characters who want to cross gender lines do so, not by challenging but by adhering to the established gender codes. An example of this is seen in the character La Zambinella in Balzacs Sarrasine She is weak, modest, easily frighten ed, and dresses in lace and finery. In other words, she is all that a woman of the period tried to be; she is a hyperbole of womanhood. In Sarrasine Balzac writes, This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her instinctive worries, he r impetuous boldness, her fussing, and her delicious sensibility (248). Transvestites employ gender stereotypes to objectify human nature, making it easy to understa nd at a glance and to pass judgment (Mosse 5). Because transvestites want to be seen as belonging to a particular gender, they must adopt that genders stereotype s. Thus their cross-dressing paradoxically affirms gender rules and violates them at the same time. Sexual dichotomy is deeply ingrained in our collective social identity. This fact is noted by Cynthia Epstein who asserts that No aspect of social life [] is free from the dichotomous thinking that casts the world into categories of male and female (232). And Dekker claims that liminality denotes the boundaries and categories people make to create order in their world view (41). Sexual dichotomy reinforces the sexual hier archy. As we will see later, during the nineteenth century there existed an in sistence on both male superiority and an innate difference between the sexes.


5 The increased level of social discom fort associated with male crossdressing, as opposed to female cross-dre ssing, illustrates its threat to social hierarchies. Michel Foucault, for exampl e, finds in nineteenth-century texts a definite aversion to anythi ng that might denote a deli berate renunciation of the signs and privileges of the masculine role (19). And Dekker claims that transvestism of men was considered mu ch more objectionabl e than that of women. The man was demeaned, while th e woman strove for something higher (55). This idea that women cross-dressers are elevating themselves can be seen as far back as the Alexandrian philosopher Philo. iii While the female cross-dresser is understandableshe is naturally aiming to better herselfthe fact that male transvestites willingly surrender their elevat ed status is threatening and confusing to those who embrace the established sexual and social hierarchies. In other words, the female cross-dressers desire to be male supports the male claim of superiority, while the male cross-dresser s desire to be female challenges it. Another challenge to the gender hier archy is the notion of the Androgyne. The idea of the Androgyne, as orig inally described in Platos Symposium, became a form of social protest in the ninete enth century. Janice G. Raymond discusses this evolution: In the nineteenth cen tury, androgyny becomes a theme of social reform [] a way of talking about an ideal society [] Androgyny comes to symbolize human progress, universal unity, and the removal of social oppression, especially that of female and class oppression [] But a primary common element in all of the vari ous usages of androgyny is the notion of integration as completion. (159)


6 Raymonds statement indicates that writers in the nineteenth century saw the potential of androgyny to challenge the se xual hierarchy. Detecting this potential challenge to the established hierarchy, many late Victorians came to view the figure of the Androgyne as threatening. Ge orge Mosse claims, If before 1850 the Androgyne had been a symbol of fratern ity and solidarity, by the end of the century, it had been transformed into a symbol of vice and sexual perversity (92). This attitude indicates how threatened Victorian-era masculinity was by any hint of sexual ambiguity or variation. Smith-Rosenberg claims: heterosexuality [was made] both essential to and symbolic of social order all other forms of sexuality [] became symbols of social di sorder (40). Social order came to be defined by assimilation to the norm; adoption of similar patterns of behavior indicated agreement on the structure of society. Alternative behavior must therefore be read as a challenge to this structure. The emergence of the figure of the New Woman was one such challenge. Teresa Mangum describes the British New Woman and societys reaction to her works: The New Womanas a character, a set of demands, and a model for female readersexpanded the nineteenthcentury by introducing what we would now call feminist issues and feminist characters in to the realm of popular fiction. [] The New Woman narratives challenged societys most fundamental and sacrosanct vision of Woman. (1) New Woman literature gave nineteenth-century women a place to communicate their greater potential. The female tr ansvestite characters in New Woman literature became heralds of social change and sources of encouragement to their women readers. In discussing nineteenth -century fiction and politics, Barbara


7 Bardes and Suzanne Gossett assert, nove ls were, in their own time, clearly understood to participate in the social ization of the population (5). The transvestite characters explored in this thesis challenged the established hierarchies of gender and class and encour aged their audience to find their own strategies for doing the same. They were able to do so by becoming masculine. However, by donning male clothing and a ssuming male characteristics they also reinforced the gender dichotomy---i.e. this is male behavior and I am a female assuming a male role. In the following chapters we will ex amine how the adoption of the other sexs gender alters the behavior of the tr ansvestite in the two novels. The changes in the protagonists behaviors indicate that what is deemed innate female inferiority is learned and can be unlearne d. Although this idea challenges real (i.e. non-fictional) masculine authority, the chal lenge is softened by its placement in a fictional work. However, this is not to say that this fiction was entirely seen as nonthreatening. Many New Woman authors we re strongly criticiz ed for the views expressed in their fiction. iv For example, critical reactions to New Woman novelists were [...] condemnatory. In Woman (May 2, 1894) they were declared petticoat anarchists who put a blazing to rch to the shrine of self-respect and feminine shame (Beckson 141). And Linda Dowling points out that the loosening of sexual controls apparently encouraged by [...] New Woman fiction was almost universally believed by late-Vic torians to threaten the vital bonds of state and culture (50). The criticism of New Woman fiction relied on traditional


8 sexual stereotypes to maintain strict sexual dichotomies and discourage the adoption of New Woman attitudes. The Victorians wish to cling to th eir sexual/social status quo is not unusual. A brief history of transvestism in literature shows an association between transvestite characters and social and ge nder power. There are incidents of crossdressing in Greek and Roman mythology. Two very masculine heroesAchilles and Heraclesexperience cross-dressing episodes. Achilles mother Thetis, knowing her son was doomed to die an early though heroic death if he went to Troy, sends him to King Lycome des of Scyros dressed as a girl. He has an affair with Deidameia, King Lykomedes daught er, who bears him a son, Neoptolemus. Odysseus and Diomedes come to Scyros looking for Achilles and entice him to reveal his identity by displaying pretty weapons among the items for sale to the women of court. v Achilles cross-dressing does not diminish his manliness in any way; rather it is depicted as a clever way of avoiding bat tle. Upon his discovery by Odysseus, Achilles marries Deidameia and joins Odysseus battle party. Heracles cross-dressing occurs when Zeus sentences him to be sold into slavery to Queen Omphale of Lydia. The days of his enslavement were spent in ease and indolence. Omphale took to wearing the heros lionskin [] Heracles, by contrast, wore a long Lydian robe and spun linen thread at the queens feet (Grimal 328). When his time of servitude is over, he leaves Omphale and continues his adventures. Heracles is able to maintain his strong grip on masculinity even though he temporarily lo ses both his social/class status and his gendered status. In Heracles and Achilles ability to remain masculine while


9 cross-dressed, we might conclude that th ere existed a social privilege for these two heroes. In other words, their social standing, as heroes and demi-gods set them above the average citizen and allowe d them to cross-dress and retain their masculinity. There is no such privilege evident in the Bible. Both the Old and the New Testament specifically discourage crossdressing on all social levels. In Deuteronomy we find the following prohibition: A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a womans garment, for whoever does these things is an abomina tion to the Lord, your God (Deut. 22:5). In the New Testament, Cor 11:3-15, also sets up a sexual hierarchy/dichotomy and uses clothing (specifically head coveri ngs and hair) to mark and reinforce it. These biblical references indicate the importance of separate male and female spheres. Sexual dichotomies and hierarch ies were being formed and enforced and dress was a large part of this enforcement. These sexual dichotomies eventually became part of the accepted social hierarchy in Christian societies. Although there are many literary referenc es to cross-dressing from biblical times to the nineteenth century, the play s of William Shakespeare in the English Renaissance are the most interesting. The fact that during this time there were no female actors added an interesting comic dimension to transvestite roles. For example, in a play such as As You Like It, a boy actor would play a female who cross dresses as a boy. The cross-dressi ng here and in other Shakespearean comedies like Twelfth Night results in comic chaos, but in the end true love triumphs; the characters return to their r eal gender and the confusion is resolved.


10 Despite their happy endings, these comedies suggest that leaving proper gender roles will result in chaos. The triumph of heterosexual love and happiness that accompanies the return to proper gender roles serves to reinforce the sexual dichotomy of the day. Just because Shakespeare made light of the chaos that cross-dressing produced doesnt mean th at he lightly accep ted cross-dressing. Valerie Traubs article, The (In)signifi cance of Lesbian Desire suggests that these comedies were deliberately situated in the past because of the uneasiness they might produce if set in the present. By setting As You Like It in the distant past as well as in a past oral setting (i.e. outside of society), Shakespeare diminishes any threat that there might actually be cross-dressed women passing as men. In this manner, he explores the cross-dressing plot potential in a nonthreatening format. This avoidance of placing his characters in current and recognizable scenes differentiates Shakespe are from the writers explored in this thesis whose texts are set in their own time period and in recognizable settings. Social and gender hierarchies are contingent upon a tacit agreement between the various levels. This agreem entthe acceptance of the superiority of those in the levels above by those in the levels belowstabilizes the hierarchy. It is both reinforced and examined through many social and cultural agencies literature, religion, art, and fa shion to name a few. The authors that we consider in this thesis set their gender-challenging te xts in the present. And by having their characters cross gender and class lines they deliberately and specifically challenged the belief that sex and cla ss equal identity. The fact that these characters challenge the existing hierar chies simply by assuming the costume of


11 the opposite sex illustrates the fragile basis for gender stereotypes and the signifying power of clothing. Clothing Clothing, paradoxically, often hides the sex but displays the gender (Lorber 22) What we actually see and react to ar e, not the bodies, but the clothes of those about us. It is from their clothes that we form a first impression of our fellow creatures as we meet them (Flugel 15) The above statements indicate the impor tance of clothing to a society that is socially and sexually dichotomized. Gende r-specific clothes, especially prior to the mid-twentieth century, were seen as necessary to maintain an extreme distinction between [] the sexes in order to safeguard natural gender relations and to keep society in a state of moral equilibrium (Luck 141). Clothing defined the wearer. Clothes were a status marker ; cumbersome, finely made clothes, for example, signified that their wearer wa s wealthy enough not to require the ability to move aboutshe was waited upon, never had to walk any distance, and was purely ornamental. Gender-distinctive dress was deemed as absolutely natural and necessary. This is illustrated by the sensation caused by the introduction of the bloomer costume vi in 1851. Amelia Bloomers costume wa s seen as part of the desire to disrupt patriarchal order a nd usurp male privilege (Luck 142). The threat posed by the Bloomer costume is i llustrated by its quick demi se as a fashion: by 1853, the majority of women who had worn the dress [] had abandoned it or were wearing it only in the privacy of thei r homes [] (Luck 149). The pressure


12 asserted by the constraints and insistence of social conformity made it virtually impossible for a woman to wear a bloo mer costume and retain her social respectability. However, the commotion caused by the bloomer costume was slight in comparison to the stir raised when a woman was discovered to be masquerading as a man. Cross-dressing by women was s een as threatening because it afforded working class women a way to cross, not only gender, but class lines as well. Many working-class women cross-dressed in order to obtain better employment opportunities. vii This cross-dressing solution is seen in Southworths novel The Hidden Hand. Cross-dressing also allowed women to infiltrate the male arena as Grands Boy does in The Tenor and the Boy If the adoption of male clothing allowed working-class women to move up the social hierarchy, it also allowed upper-class women the freedom to move in other directions as well. As illustrated in the Grand chapters the adoption of masculine dress allowed upper class women to associate w ith men of lower economic classes. By disregarding class restrictions these charac ters potentially threaten the gene stock of their class. Furthermore, cross-dres sing allowed women to ignore other social constraints normally placed upon them. A fe male transvestite suddenly finds that as a male, s/he has access to better empl oyment, is allowed ou t alone at night, and is freed from unwanted male attention. At the same time s/he becomes an unsupervised woman; s/he enters restricted male domains, she denies her role as a woman. In short, s/he becomes a threat to traditionally dichotomized society.


13 The male transvestite who willingly surrenders his superior status along with his trousers also becomes a threat to society. S/he threatens the masculinity of other males: Male prettiness involves connotations of sexu al transgression: precisely, of the potential for submission to being sodomized (Woods 141). This potential for transgression occurs in Balzacs Sarrasine Upon finding out that Zambinella is a man, Sarrasine sat down [] two huge tears welled from his dry eyes, rolled down his manly cheeks, and fe ll to the ground: two tears of rage, two bitter and burning tears ( 252). Any hint of homosexuality threatened the ideals of masculinity and challenged heterocentr ic society. The violent reaction of masculine characters to the cross-dressed man is seen in Rachildes Monsieur Venus and indicates both anger at being deceiv ed and a fear of the corruption that the cross-dressed man represents to society. viii One way in which society deal s with perceived threats is through humor. We can see the discomfort caused by women adopting male attire depicted in the humor of the British satirical periodical Punch Punchs cartoons appealed to its middle class readership and reflected many of their ideas, attitudes, and prejudices as well as their every day way of life (Wohl 1). Linda Dowling states that Punch devoted a good deal of space to the eugenic dangers raised by contemporary male effeminacy a nd female mannishness (55). ix The fear that the adoption of the other sexs clothing would lead to the dissolution of their society was very real to Victorians. The woman who would be a man, the man who assumed the female role [] symbolized social chaos and decay (SmithRosenberg 287).


14 The threat of transvestism seems to be compounded in societies insecure about cultural changes. According to Mosse, in times of insecurity strong lines of demarcation between genders were cons idered essential; bl urring the division between them seemed to conjure up the spectre of anarchy (66-7). This insecurity can be connected to the Freudian belief that the ability to correctly identify anothers sex is core to ou r humanness. In his essay Femininity Sigmund Freud claimed that when you meet a human being, the first distinction you make is male or female and you are accustomed to make the distinction with unhesitating certainty (113). In other words, Fre ud believed that sex is fundamental to all human sense of humanness; infants are marked by and are selfaware of their sexual identity. When individu als feel unsure it is natural to cling to the known. The nineteenth-century was a pe riod of extraordinary changes, as discussed below. These changes created ins ecurities that were reflected by strict sexual and social dichotomies, which were challenged by the hero/heroines of our two novels. N ineteenth-Century Atmosphere and Class Structure All change is traumatic, even change for the betterHence all ninete enthcentury progress was pursued by anxiety at times repressed and only reluctantly recognized. (Gay 11) The nineteenth-century was a time of shifting certainties. It saw both challenges to the gender dichotomy and a reactionary increase of regimented gender roles. The Victorian age witn essed a remarkable transition from a


15 traditional society controlled by a patriarchal landed gentry to a modern democratic, industrial stat e (Beckson 133). Oftentimes the new scientific discoveries and theories of the era challenged traditionally held beliefs. However, just as often they were used to support the Victorian moral codes. The Victorians strove simultaneously to embrace progress and to maintain their traditional dichotomies. x In short, nineteenth-century sci entific theories were based on the presumption that European and male were synonymous with superior; what was neither European nor male was therefore inferior. Amidst these shifting certainties ar ose the fear that the world was becoming feminized and overly civilized. The middle class began to associate decadence with the aristocra tic class and developed a masculine ideal in response to the challenges it perceived. Mosse claims, the masculine ideal was considered a bulwark against decadence, representing in words, pictures, and stone an image of chaste manhood that had sunk deeply into modern consciousness (101). The excessive aristocratic dandy failed to fit in to this new masculine ideal, as did the New Woman. Mosse claims that a woman in fin-de-siecle society who left the place assigned to her in the division be tween the sexes, [] became an outsider [] and presented one of the most serious and difficult challenges to modern masculinity (102). The men and women who refused or were unable to fit into the Victorian gender ideals were assigne d outsider status. Their inability to conform to the standards set by their societ y was interpreted as a challenge to that society.


16 Women who did conform to social standards often found themselves in a paradoxical situation where they were viewed simultaneously as physically and intellectually inferior to man, but emoti onally and spiritually superior to them. This paradox manifested itself in two trends among upper-class women. The notion of female spiritual superiority result ed in the development of The Cult of True Womanhood xi and the idea of female physical weakness resulted in the development of The Cult of Female Frailty. xii The New Woman refuted these paradoxical gender roles assigned to wome n and the limitations society placed on them. This will be especially evident when we discuss Southworths heroine, Capitola Black, who races around the count ryside in a most impertinent and robust manner. Now that we have briefly examined gender, clothing, transvestism, and the atmosphere and class structure of the nine teenth-century, we can begin to connect these issues as they relate to our two primary texts. These texts are: The Tenor and the Boy in The Heavenly Twins (1893) by Sarah Grand (a British writer) and The Hidden Hand, or Capitola the Madcap (1888) by E. D. E. N. Southworth (an American writer). These texts were select ed as representative of the nineteenthcentury attitudes of two separate countrie s in order to determine if there is any indication of a marked cultural difference in attitudes towards the cross-dressed character. The characters depicted in the texts are female transvestites (though Southworths bandit Black Donald, as a master of disguise, suggests a link to transvestism). Texts featuring cross-dre ssed males were not as numerous as those featuring cross-dressed females, but they did exist. For example, George Sands


17 Gabriel (1839) deals with a hermaphrodite whose dominant personality is maletechnically a hermaphrodite is in capable of cross-dressing. Balzacs Sarrasine (1830) deals with a cros s-dressing castrato, but he re the castration of the male has rendered him almost an drogynous or sexless and therefore an irrelevant subject for this thesis. Finally, Woods Pantaletta (1882) and Cridges Mans Rights (1870) both deal with entire cross-dr essed communities. In this thesis I am concerned with the indivi dual cross-dresser a nd the challenge she poses to social norms. The primary texts th at I explore both use their transvestite characters to disrupt the stability of the nineteenth-century gender and social hierarchies.


18 The Angel Leaps to Earth: Sarah Grands The Tenor & the Boy What I long for is the freedom of going about alone, of coming and going [] of walking about old streets at night; thats wh at I long for; and thats the freedom without which one cannot become a real artist. --Marie Bashkirtseff Diary, 2 January 1879. The Tenor and the Boy by Sarah Grand, a short novel subsequently integrated into the larger novel The Heavenly Twins concerns itself primarily with the motivations of the cross-dressed woman and the class and gender hierarchy. The heroines cross-dressing is essential to the exploration of the various aspects of these hierarchies. It directly challenges the reader to consider relationshi ps between the genders in terms other than sexual/romantic. It also raises related issues such as what constitutes cross-dressing; the interdependence of gender with class hierar chies; androgyny and the dual personality of the cross-dresser; and the effect that crossdressing and the adoption of other gender roles has on the cross-dressed char acter and societys expecta tions of gender roles. In the novel, a Tenor of mysterious or igins meets an unnamed boy while strolling about one evening. The two become friends, w ith the Tenor taking on the role of mentor. The Tenor is led to believe that the Boy is the twin brother of hi s love interestthe beautiful and pious Angelica. Much of the interaction be tween the Tenor and the Boy consists of conversations about love. On a night out rowing, thei r boat capsizes and the


19 Tenor must rescue the Boy. While tending the unconscious Boy, the Tenor discovers that the Boy is in reality, Angelic a. After a confrontation scen e in which the Tenor proposes marriage only to discover that Angelica is al ready married, their frie ndship ends and they part. This novel is integrated into the larger novel The Heavenly Twins as an adventurous episode in the life of the disillusioned Angelica. Angelica, in the larger nove l, is one of three women w hose marriages face either tragedy or unconventionality. The first woma n marries a man infected with a venereal disease. She gives birth to a syphilitic chil d, goes insane and dies. Angelica witnesses these tragic events and, as a result, becomes disillusioned about a womans role in her society. The second woman is described as self-educated. She falls for a handsome young man and marries him. On her wedding day she lear ns of his dissolute pa st and attempts to leave him; she is persuaded to remain with him (to avoid scandal) but refuses to consummate her marriage. Angelica proposes to and marries an older friend (whom she calls Daddy) with the condition that she re tain her autonomy. In th e larger novel, after the Tenor and the Boy chapter, the Tenor dies of pneu monia (as a result of their dunking). His death causes a contrite Angelica to try to become a better wife. Angelicas determination to become a better wife might be read as a reaction by one cross-dresser to another cross-dressers unresolved issues at the time of his death. The Tenors own quasi-disguise raises the question of what constitutes cross-dressing. The Tenor, like Angelica, is a character in disguise. As John Kuchich points out, by carefully concealing his origins and his conne ctions [] the Tenor constructs an openly fictive persona for himself that the entire comm unity treats with grav e respect (201). By trying to pass as a simple lay-clerk, the Te nor is, in effect, cro ss-dressing (crossing


20 class, but not gender lines). At his death, the Tenor becomes that which he had pretended to bea simple lay-clerk. Angelicas d ecision to become a better wife could be interpreted as a reflection of her dread of dying outside of what she really isa woman and a wife. The Tenors crossing of cla ss lines is less threatening to society than Angelicas crossing of gender lines. Presumably, this is because (as I will di scuss later) although he is living as a lay clerk, no one really be lieves that he is one, whereas Angelica is convincing in her role (even the reader is unaware of her true sex until the Tenors discovery). Furthermore, Angelica is pres umed to be ascending the gender hierarchy ladder and entering taboo (male) areas, thus transgressing the boundaries of both class and gender hierarchies. In contrast, the Tenors class crossing is moving down the hierarchal ladder. Class and gender are discussed several ways in the novel: the difference in the way that the Tenor receives Angelica and th e way he receives the Boy; the Tenors suggested innate nobility; and Angelicas upper class status which puts her above the law. Although the Boy and Angelica are both fro m the same family, they are treated very differently by the Tenor. The Boy, being younger, is the Tenors inferior. This is indicated by the Tenors mentoring attitude towards the Boy: he led him, by example principally, but also by suggestio n (403). Angelica, however, is viewed by the Tenor as his superior. The Tenors high mindedness shra nk from approaching a girl whose social position was so far above his ownin the matter of money that is ( 405). This perceived


21 difference between Angelicas and the Boys social status is made more interesting when the true identity of Angelica/The Boy is revealed. However when considering the Tenors so cial status, Grand seems to deny that class is constructed; she very carefully sets the Tenor a bove his fellows. His innate superiority is physically obvious: Sitting with the lay clerks behind the choristers, he looked like the representative of another and higher race (359). The Tenors demeanor also speaks of his nobility. The Boy notes to the Tenor, You would never give yourself such airs if you hadnt something to go upon [] you command resp ect naturally, as well-bred people do (408). If the reader has any doubt, Grand has the Tenor relate a history that suggests his noble status. The Tenor describes his patron: He was always sure that I was gentle by birth [] and all my tutors said I must have come of an educated race (426). As a foundling, the Te nors clothes were such as a gentlemans child would have worn (427). According to the Tenor, his foster-fat her said [I] was not one of them; [my] build was different, and [I] was quite unfit for such rough labour [sic] (427). By insisting upon the Tenors innate nobi lity, Grand seems to insist that social status is not constructed, but rather that nobi lity is innate to the upper social strata no matter the environment in which they find th emselves. In contrast, Angelicas social status as indicated by the Tenors (and the Tenor here might be seen to speak for the rest of their community) perception of her as the id eal lady---pious, virtuou s, etc.---is called into question by her cross-dr essing escapades. By presenti ng two contrasting views, Grand is able to challenge the certainty of the innate superiority of social rank. Angelicas ability to cross-dress is direc tly related to her social rank. Her wealth and status allows her the luxury of having her own room, far from the servants; this


22 allows her to come and go as she pleases. Furthermore, her social position protects her. Angelica is well aware of this fact, as indicated by the following statement: I knew I was breaking the law of the land [] that added excitement to the pleasurethe charm of danger [] What would be an unpardonable offense if committed by another woman less highly placed [] is merely an amusing eccentricity in me, so [] conveniently snobbish is society. (452-54) Angelicas knowledge that she faces no real punishment if caught is further strengthened by her belief that she should be mistaken for my brother. xiii Our own parents do not know us apart when we are dressed alike (452) Angelica is privileged by both her social class and by the existence of her other gender double. The belief that other gender twins can stand in for one another is an old one that recalls aspects of Platos concept of the a ndrogyne. This is seen in Carolyn Heilbruns description of twins: the two seem to encompass between complete human possibility [] the two are always seen as an original unit which has split (34) It is clear that Grand intends for the character of Angelica/th e Boy to call up gender neutral ideals. To wit, the Boy rejects the labels boy and man and instead declares himself a bright particular spirit (393). This idea indicates a bei ng without a definite sexual identity and therefore, beyond the restraints of gender c odes. The Tenor, citing Percy Shelleys long poem, compares the Boy to the creature in the Witch of Atlas : A sexless thing it was, and in its growth/it seemed to have developed no defect/of either sex, yet all the grace of both (Stanza XXXVI, lines 329-31, cited in Gr and 403). The Boy retorts with his own version of genius that sounds lik e ideally genderless: I believe it is the attributes of both minds, masculine and feminine, perfectly united in one person of either sex (403). The Boy thus asserts his belief that genius is a sublimated fusion of the male and the female


23 and is available to both sexe s. This ideal is echoed in th e duality of the Angelica/Boy character. Although he treats them quite differentl y, the Tenor seems equally smitten with both the Boy and Angelica: his thoughts being pretty equa lly divided between him and the lady whose brilliant glance had had such a magical effect upon him (380). This equal division of the Tenors affection indicate s that Angelica and the Boy are two halves of a whole. When the Tenor realizes that the Boy is exactly like her, the Boy explains it is because they are twins. The explanation elates the Tenor: he sees in the girl an ideal, and [he] had found soul enough in th e laughter-loving Boy to make him eager to befriend him (385). The Tenor believes that in possessing one of the twoeither Angelica in marriage or the Boy in friendshiph e will have, if not possession of, then at least access to them both. The Tenor believes that Angelica and the Boy can create happiness for him, but only so long as they remain two separate beings. When Angelica is found out, the Tenor is unable to see the two personalities as a complete whole. He is stuck in a binary either/or logic: It was very hard [] to drop either of the two individuals which had hither to been so distinct and different, and to realize that one of them at least had never existed (448). The Tenor is unable to accept that both individuals did exist xiv --in the body of Angelica. He therefore accepts the reality of Angelic a, the woman, and dismisses the existence of the Boy. Unlike the Tenor, Grand refuses to opt for one over the other and holds to the existence of both. This is seen in the effect s that cross-dressing has on Angelica. At the start of her cross-dressing, Angelica is anxi ous and timid. When the Tenor examines the


24 Boy too closely, the Boy seemed to take fri ght, and finally bolted (380). These initial anxieties quickly disappear. Angelica becomes more assured in her ability to pass as the Boy. Soon she begins to display boyish behavior with abandon: There seemed no limit to his capacity for asking [] he emphasized his remarks by throwing a stray cushion or two [] he jumped over the chairs instead of walking round them (388-89). As the Boy, Angelica never tires: He seemed to rejoice in his own strength, to delight in his own suppleness (437). At one point the exasperated Tenor asks the Boy if he is an American (398) indicating the Boy s adventuresome and annoying nature. Angelica has no problem assuming the phys ical role of the Boy, although we must note that, dictated by her small physique, she is a boy rather than a manin other words, she is still inferior physically to a man. It is important to note, how she revels in her new freedom of movement. When she is unmasked, she describes the release of cross-dressing to the Tenor: the freedom from restraint, I mean the restraint of our tight uncomfortable clothing, was delicious. I tell you I was a genuine boy. I moved like a boy; I felt like a boy (456). This expression indi cates that for Angelica, the Boy persona had become real and separate from her Angelic a persona. At times in the novel, the Boy persona seems the more real of the two; Ange lica is too much of an ideal through most of the novel to be real. Once she is unmasked however, Angelica deflates; she loses both her idealized status and her boyish behavior She is unable to maintain her strength and her bravado under the Tenors disapproving gaze and b ecomes hysterical. And when the Tenor pardons her saying: I do forgive you. [] Poor misguided girl [] may God in heaven forgive you [] and make you good and true and pure[she falls at his feet] and bursts


25 into a paroxysm of tears (462). The Tenors disapproval causes Ange lica to realize that what she has really desired was the platonic friendship of a man. She knows that in her female attire/role, this sort of open friendship is not possible. This is indicated by the change in the Tenors manner towards Angelica once she is unmasked. For example, he dismisses her words as feminine nonsense: he [the Tenor] mistook the remarks she had just been making fo r a natural girlish evas ion of the subject (458). Although he had reveled in the Boys banter, once he discove rs Angelicas female sex, the Tenor starts to disregard her remarks on the basis of that sex. In this way and others, the Tenor indicates that he is a man for whom gender roles/expectations are very real things. Once Angelica is treated as a mere woman, she erodes into one. In this way, Grand exposes how the expectations of others shape womens behavior. These expectations are depicted by the Te nors belief inor ra ther, his insistence onAngelicas purity and his love for her. Falli ng in love with her at first sight, the Tenor conflates Angelicas beauty and her pur ity: the pale proud purity of her face, with the unvarying calm of her demeanour [sic] we re assurances enough for him. His dear lady. His delicate-minded girl (401). Significantly, in his conversat ions with the Boy, the latter constantly remarks on Angelicas less th an ideal side: She is very fascinating, I allow, but always, in her conversation, the serpent hisses where th e sweet bird sings (415). At the same time, however, the Boy also promotes the Tenors romance with Angelica: I should like to see Angelica safe ly settled with you. [ ] There are obstacles, of course; but they can be got overif you will trust me (396). The Boys words give the Tenor hope. This indicates that Angelica wants to be desired by the Tenor outside of the idealized image that he holds of her; she wants to climb down from the pedestal and


26 still be worthy of love. However, it is not neces sarily romantic love that she desires, but the love that exists between men. The fact that she wants this sort of love to exist between men and women represents he r attachment to the androgynous ideal where gender has no bearing on relationships. This desire is evident in the discussions about romance between the Tenor and the Boy. The Boys expression of the calm human fellowship, th e brotherly love undisturbed by a single violent emotion [] I say the scene is hallowed, and Ill have no sex in my paradise (423) is idealistically non -gendered. Grand indicate s that the ideal of love expressed by Angelica/the Boy is superior to the Tenors love of Angelicas physical appearance. An unmasked Angelica expresses her shock at what could be seen as the Tenors shallowness: it did not occur to me that you could care seri ously for a girl to whom you had never spoken (461). By questioning the source of the Tenors love for Angelica, Grand introduces the notion that men too can wed for the wrong reasonssuch as a conflation of physical beauty and inner goodness. Grand also (ironically) depicts the Tenors shocked disbelief at the revelation that the Boy and Angelica are one and the same wh en he has been well aware of and taken pains to comment on the Boys excessive femini nity. The Tenor thinks the Boys voice is hardly rough enough for a boy of his age (392 ). He says in reply to the Boys questioning of his past, Your curiosity is quite womanish, Boy (408). When the Boy imitates the Tenor, he says, Boy, will you neve r be more manly? (419). There is a sexual overtone in all of the Te nors associations of the B oy with the feminine. Miller goes so far as to suggest that: the mothering Tenor treats the Boy in a fashion recognized by every pedophile. He permits him to define the parameters of th eir relation, indulges


27 him in everything [] and yet hopes to teach him a higher and more moral life (205). This sexual tone is explicitly seen when the Tenor lays his hands on the Boys hair. When the Boy objects, the Tenor replies, B ut why on earth do you come so close? You put that remarkable head of yours under my ha nd and then growl at me for touching it. And really it is a temptation (408). The sexual aspect of the Tenor and the Boys relationship culminates in the Tenors resurrectio n of the Boy after thei r dunk in the river: He [] stripped the light flannel clothing from the Boy [] he clasped the lad in his arms and pressed his cheek to his [] it seemed as if in that close embrace, his whole being had expressed itself in love and pray er [] he felt the Boys limbs quiver [] and then he heard him sigh. (445) The allusion to sexual relations is clearly depicted by the langua ge that Grand uses in this passage. This sexual resurrection is immediat ely followed by the Tenors discovery that his Boy and his Angelica are one and the same. Angelicas unmasking can be read as a fallboth lit erally from the boat and figuratively in the Tenors esteem. She goes from being the Tenors own lady, his ideal of purity, his goddess of truth, his angel of p ity [to being] his idol [] shattered, the dream and hope of his life [] over [] all that remained of them, [was] herself as she really was (446-7). Once his ideal, this fallen Angelica is not good enough for the Tenor. In a comically melodramatic stance, the Tenor unhappily steels himself to take the high moral ground. I must marry her now I suppos e, and he could not help [] wondering a little at the possibility of such a sudden change of feeling as that which had [] transformed the dearest wish of his life into a distasteful, if not altogether repugnant, duty (447). This change in the Tenors love for Angelica seems to be a warning to men who would love a goddess of virtue at a distance. Obviously, the Tenors lofty images


28 of Angelica were destined to be crushed; no woman could truly live up to such standards. And Angelica does not try to live up to thes e standards, instead she chooses to rebel against them (albe it under disguise). Angelicas explanation to the Tenor for her behavior reads like a womens rights pamphlet. She attacks societys insistence that all women are the same and want the same things from life. She claims: There was no latitude allowed for my individuality. I was a girl and therefore I was not supposed to have any bent. I found a big groove waiting for me when I grew up, and in that I was expected to live whet her it suited me or not [] It was deep and narrow, and gave me no room to move. (450) Her complaint implies that to be a woman is to be under continual restraintis it any wonder that she yearns to be an unrestr ained and irresponsible boy? She further complains that her family and friends insisted that she comply with societal restraints. Her intimates are depicted as practically shovi ng Angelica into a role for which she does not believe that she is suited. She longs for fr eedom: I wanted to go out there and then. I wanted to be free to go and come as I would. I felt a galling sense of restraint all at once, and I determined to break the law that imposed it (451). The implication here is that if society insists upon limiting women to roles for which they are not suited, there are bound to be consequences such as Angelicas rebellion. Angelica further argues that her cross-dressing was a way in which to be taken seriously by men: as a woman, I could not e xpect to be treated by men with as much respect as they show to each other (452). The Tenors differential treatment of Angelica and the Boy proves her expecta tions true. Although the Tenor does not treat the Boy as he would a grown man, he treats the Boy as more of an equal than he does Angelica. For


29 example, when she praises him for raising her opinion of men as moral creatures, his response is, Do you love me then? (457). Th is remark indicates that between the two sexes there can be (in the Tenors mind) no fr iendshiponly (or at best) love. She replies to his question of love by explaining how cross-dressing had helped her reach a sort of genderless ideal. She tells the Teno r that, as the Boy, she has: enjoyed the benefit of free inte rcourse with your masculine mind undiluted by your masculine pr ejudices and proclivities with regard to my sex. Your manner to me has been quite different from that of any othe r man [] with you alone of all men [] I almost think I have b een on an equal footing. (458) Angelica complains about the society in which she should have been held to have done my duty if I had spent the rest of my life in dressing well, and saying the proper thing (453). Angelicas complaints address both th e uselessness of th e upper-class womans life and the refusal of men to recognize women as their e quals. By having Angelica live as the Boy, Grand establishes the difference between the sexes as a constructed one. All the while that Angelica is stating her arguments, instead of listening to her, the Tenor is thinking how much like the Boy Angelica is and strangely this thought makes her attractive to him once again. The Tenors inability to hear Angelicas case is representative of the dismissal of women s voices by Victorian society. The Tenor, in fact, fails to hear anything Angelica says until she reveals her final secretshe is married. When he learns this, the Tenor sulks by the fire. In a fit of temper, Angelica lets her Dante know that this Beatrice does not appreciate his superficial love: You go and fall in love with a gi rl you have never spoken to in your life, you endow her gratui tously with all the virtues you admire without asking if she cares to possess them; and when you find she is not the peerless perfection you require her to be, you blame her! Oh! Is nt that like a man? (259)


30 Angelicas accusation can be read as a criti que against a society th at groups all of its women into one of two categoriesAngel or Whore. Angelicas definition of her marriage as a dutyIt was taken for granted that I should be content to marry, and only to marry (460)represents her own involveme nt in societys grouping. She must marry or be branded as a nonconformist. She marries to gain security (indicated by the fact that she calls her husband Daddy). Once she is sa fely married, she is left alone by society she is deemed normal, she has conformed. Before she falls into womanly hysterics, Angelica informs the Tenor, all the benefit of your acquaintance [] has consisted in the fact that you were unaware of my sex. I knew that directly you became aware of it another element would be introduced into our friendship which would entirely spoil it so far as I am concerned (459). It seems that with this final condemnation of the Teno rs treatment of her, Angelica has expended all of the Boys remaining br avado and must now go out and (in the Tenors words) do some good in the world [] be a good woman (462). When the Tenor goes to escort her home (now that she is a woman, she must nt come and go unescorted), she finds her nerves so shaken that she is unable to plait her hair: her hands trembled so, and he was obliged to help her (462). The change in Angelica is marked by both her reactions and the Tenors change in attitude towards her. We are left to conclude th at in societys view, to be a good woman is to be a conforming woman. Her articulate defense of women notwithstanding, Angelica bows to convention. Society is safe from her rebe llion for a time. However, there are suggestions in Angelicas argument that unless societys attitude towards women alters,


31 another unhappy woman will repeat Angelicas experiment. In fact, her argument calls for just such an occurrence.


32 A Most Brilliant Madness: Capitolas Genius in Southworths The Hidden Hand Oppressions ultimate resource [is] the cooperation of the oppressed --Seamus Deanne Introduction to Joyces Portrait of the Artist America is a land of masking jokers. We wear the mask for purposes of aggression as well as for defense --Ralph Ellison Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke In her comic melodrama, The Hidden Hand or Capitola the Madcap (1889), E.D.E.N. Southworth depicts the limitations of Victorian ideals of femininity and explores male and female gender roles. Becau se her novel is humorous, she does so in an apparently non-threateni ng, lighthearted manner. This lighthearted manner sets The Hidden Hand apart from many other texts of the period. Southworth achieves her comic effect by characterizing Capitola as a trickster, a hoyden, and a madcap xv Drawing on the African American folk tales that she heard in her youth, xvi Southworth joyfully creates a trickster character reminiscent of Brer Rabbit. Habegger claims Capitola Black is in fact none other than the long lost twin sister of Huckleberry Finn (441). Smith-Rosenberg, in her study of tricksters, asserts that the trickster character e xists to break taboos, violate categories, and defy structure [] Disorder defines the trickster, but so does power


33 (290-1). Capitola in her role as trickster ch allenges and defies the restrictions placed on the Victorian woman, but does so in a way that is at once pointed a nd non-threatening. Southworths comic stance allows her much liberty to make important statements about the potential equalityindeed superiorityof women, as well as about their current oppression (Dobson 232-3). So while The Hidden Hand raised little controversy, its social critique is far reaching. This is due largel y to the likeability of its heroine, Capitola LeNoir, and her lack of regrets. Given the twists and turns of Capitolas adventures, a plot summary is necessary. The title character, Capitola (Cap) Blacks ad ventures begin on the day of her birth. The infant Cap is saved from the murderous inte ntions of her Uncle (G abriel LeNoir) by the freed slave and mid-wife Gra nny Grewel. They are both sold into slavery by LeNoirs henchman, the bandit Black Donald, but escap e when the ship that they are on is wrecked, and all aboard are lost except Gr anny, Cap, and the sailor boy Herbert Greyson. Granny raises Cap in the slums of New York City until she can save enough money to return to Virginia and establish Caps clai m to the LeNoir fortune. Leaving Cap with some cash and in the trust of friends, Granny heads to Virginia only to develop a lengthy illness and die. Before her death she tells a local plantation owner, Major Ira (Old Hurricane) Warfield, the story of Cap. Old Hurricane, the confirmed enemy of LeNoir, goes to New York to seek Cap so that he might reestablish her as the rightful heir to the LeNoir estate. In New York he meets an impudent newsboy to whom he takes a liking. While at the police station seeking assistance in his search for Cap, Hurricane is surprised to see his newsboy under arrest. The charge is impersonation of a boy; the newsboy is in


34 actuality Cap. Old Hurricane promptly rescues her by making her his ward. Cap resumes female garb, but insists on maintaining her autonomy and adventuresome spirit. Through Cap, Hurricane meets Herbert, who he discovers is his long-lost nephew. Expressing remorse at his shabby treatmen t of Herberts mother (Hurricane had condemned her to a life of poverty because he disapproved of her choice of husband) and joy at finding his nephew, Hurricane promises Herbert position and wealth. He extends this generosity to Herberts foster-mother a nd brother. Unfortunately, we soon learn that this foster-mother and brother are Hurrica nes own abandoned wife and son, Marah and Traverse Rocke, whom Hurricane had abandone d in a fit of jealous y. However, the two find a home when Dr. Day and his beautiful da ughter, Clare, take them in. Traverse becomes the doctors apprentice and is soon engaged to Clare. Their happiness is cut short when the doctor dies suddenly, leaving hi s daughter in the care of a distant relative, the evil Gabriel LeNoir. LeNoir and his lech erous son, Craven, separate Clare from the Rockes and try to force her to marry Craven in an effort to gain control of her estate. Cap rescues Clare from this fate by exchanging cl othes with her, allowing Clare time to seek protection with her fathers co lleagues. This is the second ti me Cap foils Cravens plans. Previously, Craven had attempted to waylay her when she was riding her horse alone in the woods. Caps self-sufficiency is further demonstrated when she twice saves herself from the clutches of the bandit, Black Donal dfirst when he sends three of his best men to abduct her and then when he goes for her himself. Unfortunately, Caps mother, also named Capitola LeNoir, is not so capable. Sh e is unable to escape the clutches of her brother-in-law (LeNoir) and his son. The tw o men hold her captive in their home for seventeen years. When she becomes troublesome, they have her locked away in an insane


35 asylum. Following the classical melodramatic formula, all ends well. Caps mother is freed, Clare and Traverse are reunited and ma rried, Marah Rocke is proven innocent and reunited with Hurricane, Black Donald is re formed, and Cap and Herbert are married. Throughout the novel, Caps ability to defe nd herself and to defy male authority separates her from the other women of the novel. Presumably, she acquired this plucky autonomy during her stint as a newsboy. When sh e exhibits this defiant attitude it is usually combined with an element of th e comicshe becomes a trickster character. Furthermore, this behavior is ofte n associated with boyish hijinks. Depictions of Cap as a boyish trickster character are evident throughout the novel. For example, the Rev. Mr. Goodwin is sent by Hurricane to talk to Cap about her wild behavior. Cap senses his intentions which immediately provoked all the mischievous propensities of her elfish spir it (182). She soon has the Reve rend convinced that there is a man secreted in her closet, when in real ity it is merely the neighbors poodle. The exasperated Reverend leaves the house recomme nding that Hurricane t hrash that girl as if she were a bad boy (185). The Reverends suggestion indicates his belief that Caps boyish behavior should receive a boys punishment. Further, Caps ir reverence indicates her rejection of the Churchs patriarchal auth ority. JoanneDobson identifies the pulpit as one of the institutions whose severe and reiterated censure [] kept most women silent (223). In her playful defiance of the Churchs representative Cap rejects its censure; she will not be silenced. Caps trickster function is also seen in he r escape from the lecherous intentions of Craven LeNoir. While riding alone, Cap en counters Craven; his mocking innuendo and cruel face convince her that sh e is in danger. By feigning feminine innocence towards his


36 invitation to sit down here by the roadside and have a friendly conversation (115) Cap is able to stall and outwit her would-be assailant. Southworth seems to take great delight in relating Caps escape, which leaves the villain gnashing his teeth and shaking his fist in rage. The narrat or tells us that as she wheel ed out of sight, CapitolaIm sorry to say-put her thumb to the side of her nose, and whirled her fingers into a semicircle, in a gesture more expressive than elegant (118). Through this scene Southworth illustrates that although Cap is vul nerable to the real dangers faced by other women, her willingness to use her resources (wit, feminine charm, and the impersonation of the innocent female) allows her to escap e these dangers. Caps boyish bravado (the inelegant gesture made to Craven) replaces traditional feminine sentimentality. This passage also indicates that Cap is Southworths response to the nineteenthcentury Cult of True Womanhood, which prescribed a female role bounded by kitchen and nursery, overlaid with pi ety and purity, and crowned w ith subservience (SmithRosenberg 13). Landay also discusses the ni neteenth-century feminine ideal, which stressed submission to the patriarchal auth ority of God and men and [as well as the belief that] female power comes only from in fluence through prayer, sweet entreaty, and emotional and psychic manipulation (35-6). Cap is markedly (and happily) unlike these pictures of femininity. Caps defiance of patriarchal authority (personified in Old Hurricane) and her insistence on her autonomy contest Victorian ideals of feminine be havior. Interestingly, this defiance is viewed throughout the text in a positive light. For example, as an adolescent girl, Cap is unable to find employment. She decides to disguise herself as a boy. The decision seems logical and Cap ha s only one regret for doing so: the only


37 thing that made me feel sorry was to see wh at a fool I had been, not to turn to a boy before [] and from that day forth I was happy and prosperous! (47). Of course the circumstances that provoke this behavior are extreme and Cap is left with little choice. However, the benefits Cap receives and th e humor in which she operates do much to recommend her course of action. And though S outhworth presents Caps cross-dressing humorously, she is making a serious point about the position in which working-class women and girls of the period found themselves. Although Cap resumes her female dress when she comes under the paternal protection of Old Hurricane, she does not bow down to absolute patriarchal authority. Caps masculine (i.e. stubborn, assertive, and impertinent) char acteristics remain despite her change in dress. This indicates th at her change is profound and not superficial. As Habegger writes, Its clear that the key to Capitolas initial success in life is her readiness to undergo masculiniza tion, a process that shapes he r personality as well as her attire (442). Cap relishes her freedom a nd independence. She tells Old Hurricane, Freedom and peace are even sweeter than wealth and honors (124). She alone among his household stands up to the old bullys blus tering and fits reducing him to the big wind that his name implies he is xvii It is notable that Cap defends her autonomy in a manner that comically illustrates the double standard of the times. In this ma nner, Southworth uses comedy to make a serious and valid point easier to accept. For example, a few days after Hurricane has railed at her for riding out alone and not re turning until after dark, Cap waits for him to return from his nightly outing. Much to his astonishment and amusem ent, she rails at her guardian, echoing his phrases a nd expressions: didnt you k now the jeopardy in which


38 you placed yourself by riding out alone at this hour? Suppose three or four great runaway Negresses had sprung out of the bushesand and (128). While Caps admonition is humorous, there is the underlying knowledge that real danger waits for women who ride out in the countryside unatte nded. This is further eviden ced in Caps encounter with Craven and her (reluctant) concession to be accompanied by Hurricanes manservant, Wool (so long as he remains out of her sight) Cap realizes that sh e must accept some of the patriarchal restrictions placed upon women, but unlike the novels other female characters, she does not accept them all. To further indicate Caps difference from the expected feminine norm, Southworth sets her among three female char acters who are ideally obedient, innocent, self-sacrificing, helpless, a nd not at all comic. Clare Day, Marah Rocke, and Caps mother, are victims of their own femininity and stand in direct contrast to Caps ability to playfully elude danger and patriarchal constr aint. By the term victims of their own femininity I mean simply, as indicated below, that these three women have refused to demand their own rights because of the codes of behavior that society has placed upon them. The polarity between Cap and the other three women, combined with their inability to extricate themselves from unwelcome and dangerous situations, clearly indicates that Caps rejection of patriarchal aut hority and constraints is correct. The first of these conforming women is Clare Day. She is close to Cap in age but there the similarity ends. The fact that C lare means bright and clear, while Black (Caps last name) means abse nce of light further illustra tes their polarity. Clare is described in terms of physical attributes. She has fairy hair, natural politeness, a voice sweeter than the notes of the crushat dove, a fair roseate face, soft and bright with


39 feeling and intelligence, and she wafts the fragrance of violets as she moved (129-30). Clare is her fathers sole child and is raised in safety. However, at his death she finds herself powerless and in the clutches of her new guardian, the evil Gabriel LeNoir. As noted above, LeNoir tries to force Clare to ma rry his lecherous son, Craven, in an effort to gain control of her wealth. When she resi sts, he threatens Clare with a fate worse than death [] a life of dishonor (302). Due to her insulated upbri nging, Clare is ill equipped to protect herself. She does what her feminine upbringing has taught her to do; she weeps and contemplates suicide. Clare needs to be rescued. Cap is the knight who rushes to her defense. Southworth consciously sets up Cap to ta ke on this traditiona lly male role of knight-errant. As Cap rides to visit her new neighbor, Clare, she muses that, one would think this were the enchanted forest contai ning the castle of the sleeping beauty, and I was the knight destined to deliver her (270) To rescue Clare, Cap devises a plan in which Clare escapes by assuming both Caps clothes and attitude. Cap instructs Clare to draw up your figure, throw back your head; walk with a little springy sway and swagger, as if you didnt care a damson for anybody (307). Caps awareness of her difference from other females is depicted in these instructions. She knows she is differentin attitude and demeanorand she enjoys that she is so. Caps clothing shields Clare and allows her to successfully escape her captors. Caps behavior during the rescue of Clare is fascinating. Playing her masculine and heroic role to the hilt, she becomes a boastful, aggressive gallant, telling Clare, if I were only a young man, I would deliver you by the strength of my own arm, without subj ecting you to inconvenience or danger (Southworth 308). Cap delights in her ability to outwit the evil LeNoirs. Once Clare is


40 safely away, she reveals her true identity to them. She answers their confusion by declaring: it means that you have been outwitted by a gir l; it means that your proposed victim has fled. [] It means that you two, precious father and son would be a pair of knaves if you had sense enough; but, failing in th at, you are only a pair of fools (316). This rescue illustrates Caps superiority over the ideal Victorian lady (personified by Clare). It also illustrates her superiority over masculine evil (personified by the LeNoirs). Caps superiority is also seen when we compare her with Marah Rocke, the eternal victim. Marahs trul y womanly life is characteri zed by physical deprivation and emotional desperation []. The contrast with Capitola [] is marked and intentional (Dobson 235). Marah is Hurricanes deserted wife. She was deserted when Hurricane found Gabriel LeNoir in thei r cottage about to rape Ma rah. Seeing the half-dressed LeNoir by the bed, Hurricane suspects adulte ry. He stabs LeNoir and storms from the cottage. Marah remains seventeen years in pa ssive poverty waiting to be redeemed in Hurricanes eyes. She refuses to defend hers elf to him: If my wifehood and motherhood, my affection and my helplessness, were not advocates strong enough to win my cause, I could not have borne to employ others (98). Her refusal to defend her situation and her patient trust in God to set things right conf ines both her and her son to a life of poverty and hardship. This is in direct confli ct with how Cap handles an attack upon her reputation. After his loss of Clare, Craven sets his si ghts upon Cap. When she de clines his proposal, Craven spreads rumors of Caps easy virtue in an attempt to make her undesirable to other suitors so that she must accept his proposal or go unwed. Cap avenges her honor by


41 challenging Craven to a duel in which she s hoots him in the face with split peas. This leads him to confess his bad behavior at what he thinks is his death-bed confession. When Old Hurricane demands to know why sh e took matters in her own hands instead of referring the matter to him, Cap replies, B ecause you are on the invalid list and I am in sound condition and capable of taking my own part (376). Caps successful defense of both Clare and her own honor makes Marah Rockes passive acceptance of Hurricanes accusations seems unnecessary and less than admirable. The third female character to become a vi ctim of her own femininity is Caps own mother, Capitola LeNoir. As a young foreign widow she believes the lies her brother-inlaw, Gabriel LeNoir, feeds her: Alas, I was a child, a widow, and a foreigner, all in one. I did not know your land, or your laws, or your people. I was not hopeful or confident [] I was overwhelmed by his abuse [] I obeyed him like a slave, grateful even for the shelter of his roof (352). Capitola LeNo irs gender and age leave her vulnerable, allowing the villainous LeNoir to keep her cap tive for seventeen years. After seeing and recognizing Cap as her daughter, however, Capitola LeNoir be gins to assert herself and fight back. Unfortunately she lacks Caps knowhow and her efforts are not as successful; LeNoir easily places her in a lunatic asylum. The doctor there received the story of [her] reported insanity [] and he never gave himself the unprofitable trouble to investigate the circumstances [of her commit ment] (446). Through Capitola LeNoirs story we see how easily a troublesome woman might be gotten rid of in the nineteenthcentury. xviii Because of her gender, Capitola LeNoir is not given the chance to defend herself against the charge of insanity.


42 The ease with which troublesome (or independent) women are dismissed as hysterical is further illustrated when the LeNo irs try to silence the triumphant Cap at the chapel. In their attempts to quiet Caps tongue the LeNoirs cover Ca ps mouth with their hands and tell the occupants of the chapel, Dont listen to her! She is a maniac! (316). This is one occasion when Cap finds herself in need of a rescue (luckily her fianc, Herbert Greyson, just happens to be lost in the right place at the right time). While here she is saved by her love, in general it is Caps survival skills and her great luck that prevent her from experiencing a fate similar to her mothers. The comparison between Cap and the other three female characters of the novel indicates that the gender-defying Cap is th e best woman. Able to protect herself and others, she is a new model of feminine virtue Caps wits prevent her from finding herself in the sort of situations endur ed by other women. Her trickster status allows her to extract herself from danger in a manner that is bot h amusing and admirable. She is too selfreliant to allow herself to be in a situation like Clares in which she must decide between rape, suicide, or marriage to Craven. She cer tainly wouldnt stand still for the treatment received by Marah Rocke and Capitola LeNoir. Caps masculizationher New Woman take on feminine virtueprev ents her from sharing their fate. But if Southworth is advocating a hearty dose of masculinization for women through her depiction of Cap, is it reasonable to assu me that she is advocating a hearty dose of feminization for men through her depiction of Marah and Hurricanes son, Traverse Rocke? Southworth was concerned about th e unchecked powers of the male. Traverse represents an alternative. Traverse [] in many ways is an adaptation of the best qualities of true womanhood to the mascul ine character (Dobson in Southworth xxxv).


43 Traverse is depicted as resembling his mother in that he was sensitive and excitable easily depressed and easily exhilarated (106). When embarrassed, he gets an almost girlish smile and blush (428). He is able to perform his own domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and oh! Miracle of inde pendence, he mended his own gloves and sewed on his own shirt buttons (433). Above all, he is sensitive to the needs and rights of women. While working in the ment al asylum he is shocked at [the] necessaryexposure of their sanctuary [] he scrupulously avoided looking in through the gratings upon those helpless women who had no means of secluding themselves (440). We may infer that Traverse is Sout hworths ideal man. He is infused with sensitivity and a deep un derstanding of women. In Traverse, as well as in Cap, we see S outhworths blurring of gender lines. This is evident in Habeggers assessment of Traverse: Traverse is obviously a sissy [] his great and sufficient virtue is that he understands women and other victims (444). The fact that Habegger designates Traverse a sissy because of his caring and emotional nature indicates the tenacity of the stereo types against which Southworth fought, and the enduring value of works like The Hidden Hand that challenge them. Although Traverse represents an idealized masculinity in the novel, Southworth also expresses her admiration for a very differe nt model of masculinity in the character of the bandit, Black Donald. Black Donald is a ligned most closely with the heroine Cap. The similarities between the two characters ar e numerous: both use disguises; she has a birthmark that resembles a red hand, while hi s hands are red with murder (111); and even their names connect them together he is Black Donald while she is Capitola Black Southworth also sets up a definite mutu al attraction between her two tricksters:


44 Throughout the novel, there has been a mutual fascination between Capitola Black and Black Donald based on their admiration for each others rebellious trickery; the important difference [] is that [] Capitola remains within the boundaries of lawful society (Landay 39) while Black Donald is an outlaw. Black Donalds outlaw status appeals to Cap as much as her transgression of gender roles appeals to him. When Black Donald first reveals himself to Cap she attempts to physically capture him. The instinct of the huntress possessed her [] she ran out and overtook the outlaw [] with the agile l eap of a little terrier she sprang up behind him, seized the thick collar of his pea-j acket with both hands, a nd drawing up her feet, hung there with all her weight (157). This physical display of fo rce by Cap inspires a passion for her in Black Donald. He sends th ree of his men to capture Cap. Spying them under her bed, the quick-thinking Cap locks them in her room, gets help, and they are arrested. Her ability to outsmart his men in creases Black Donalds desire for Cap. When Black Donald himself comes to abduct her, sh e puts him off his guard by flirting with him. She then sends him falling down the (conv enient) trap door in her room. Even in flirtation, Cap remains the active trickster. Caps flirtatious manner as she lures Bl ack Donald to the trap door might be passed off as mere play-acting but for her beha vior afterwards at Bl ack Donalds trial. When he is condemned to death, she first burst into tears and then jumped over two or three intervening seats and climbed up to the side of the dock, and reached up her hand to the prisoner (466). Such an emotional disp lay from the plucky Cap indicates the depth of her affection for the outlaw. Afterwards she vows to save him from the gallows. Hurricane comments on her determination: Whe -ew! Youll deliver him by the strength


45 of your arm, my little Donna Quixota (467). Cap being Cap, hers arent mere boasts she does manage Black Donalds escape from jail and sets his feet on the trail from villainy and evil to (believe it or not) an aspiring career in politics. His successful reform is indicated by Black Donalds last communication to Cap and her family, which read, Three hundred dollars, to pay for [the hor se] Fleetfoot. Black Donald, Reformed Robber (484). Landay claims that Capitola s ability to outwit and capture the bandit and her willingness to free him align her more with Black Donald than with her fianc Herbert Greyson (40). However, Black D onald, unlike his paler rival Greyson, is a danger that a woman like Cap would have to avoid. While Cap and Donald share their devilish blackness, Caps excess must be m odified by a union with her lifelong friend, Herbert Greyson. At the novels conclusion, Cap weds her sa ilor, but lest we think she is thereby tamed and controlled, Southworth insists th at our Cap sometimes gives her dear, darling, sweet Herbert the benefit of the shar p edge of her tongue, which of course he deserves. But notwithstanding al l this, I am happy to say that they all enjoy a fair amount of human felicity (485). Cl early then, despite her cross-dressing, Cap is not to be confused with the the New Woman/Mannish Lesbian discussed by Smith-Rosenberg. This New Woman/Mannish Lesbian embodied her demand to exercise male rights and powersto act, that is, as if she were a man! To male physicians, politicians, even modernist writers, [she] symbolized disord er in a world gone mad (Smith-Rosenberg 40). As a woman writer dependent on public opin ion, Southworth couldnt risk letting an unconventional heroine such as Cap remain unr estrained. Instead, she opts to tell us that though Cap is wed, she is not completely under Herberts rule. In this way, Southworth


46 both bows to and thumbs her nose at the l iterary convention of ending novels with marriage. I found Cap to be the most enjoyable of all the cross-dressed characters I encountered in my survey of nineteenthcentury literature. She was also immensely popular with her contemporary reader s. Frank Mott tells us that The Hidden Hand [] was translated into the leading European languages, and was es pecially popular in England [] London shops featured Capito la hats and Capitola suits for girls, and three of the citys theatres [sic] produced dramatic versions of her story at once. In one of these plays, John Wilkes Booth was taking the role of Black Donald. (141) And Helen Papashvily claims that the book joined Dickens A Tale of Two Cities George Eliots Adam Bede, and Thackerays The Virginians on the best-seller list for 1859 (129). xix Because Caps character is appeal ing and did enjoy a great deal of popularity, it is not unreasonable to assume that her actions were presented for emulation as Dobson suggests: By mining the popular mood and presenting an attractive and previously unarticulated alte rnative for the contemporary representation of women, Southw orth inevitably influenced imaginative possibilities for gender definition [] She was therefore influential in changi ng the possibilities of reality for women. (In Southworth xl) I would expect no less from Cap. Safely located in a fictional melodrama, the self-sufficient, plucky Capitola indicated what women could be if freed from the social conventions and the restraints of patriarchy. Southworths use of Victorian feminine idealsthe deserted long-suffering wife, the pure ideal lady, and the madwoman in the attichelps to make the more fantastic character of Cap seem the most app ealing and real. Cap must gain her spirit


47 from her hardships and cross-dressing. He r three foilsClare, Marah, and her mother all represent women who, because of their so cial positions, are carefully contained and restrained. Because Cap is forced by a gender biased job market to cross-dress, she is made aware of masculine privilege. This lo wly beginning forms Cap s spirit and proves to be most beneficial, especially when seen next to the other three female characters. Cap starts her life as a poor orphan. Unrestrained by neither guardian nor social demands, she is free to create and follow her own pa th and she does so exceedingly well.


48 Reflections and Conclusions The roots of education are bitter, but The fruit is sweet. ---Aristotle When considering my thesis topic, I d ecided to work with nineteenth-century material because I felt that the nineteenth-c entury was an exciting time of change and chance, especially for women. Gary Kates asserts that: When Victorians rather s uddenly made sex and sexual difference a new cultural paradigm, it had the effect of polarizing the sexes, establishing rigid boundaries between them and significantly narrowing gender roles for both men and women. (xviii) The transvestite characters in bot h of the novels explored by this thesis suggest that there were women who challenged this polarization and the existing hierarchies of class and gender. Furthermore, the popularity with which the novels were received indicates an audience receptive to their message. As previously mentioned, the text s represent two countriesAmerica and England. There are several noteworthy nationa l differences visible between the novels. For example, Southworths Capitola is ve ry stereotypically Americanshe is brash, loud, and adventuresome. Although the characte r Angelica also posse ss these traits, she exhibits them only when dressed in her ma sculine attire. Capitola flaunts these characteristics regardless of her dress; th ey are an important aspect of her persona. Furthermore, the Southworth novel depicts a power hierarchy that is based on economics


49 rather than class, indicating the fluidity of the American class stru cture. This is very different from the European hierarchies. In the British novel, we see hard class lines drawn. These class lines are especially evident in Angelicas return to her proper place as a representative of the upper-class. Despite their separate national identiti es, both novels point to a definite relationship between gender, class, and pow er. Grands novel was the most blatantly critical of the male-dominat ed nineteenth-century hier archy. Her character Angelica voices many New Woman complaints agai nst societys treatment of women. Southworths novel makes many of the same co mplaints, but the criticism is softened with comedy. Although both texts critique the sexual and social inequities of the period, they do so in different manners. We see the same sort of similarity and di fference in the characters themselves. In many ways the transvestite characters explored by this thesis are very similar; Grands Angelica, and Southworths Ca pitola share intelli gence, daring, a love of autonomy, and financial security. However they also posse ss very distinct personalities; there is no stereotype indicated by them. Mentally, Sout hworths Capitola also remains in the masculine state. This is indicated by the many references to her as a boy by angry paternal characters such as Old Hurricane and the Reverend Goodwin. Capitola also recognizes that dress, in and of itself, is inconsequential. She is who she is regardless of what envelops her body. Her self-assuredne ss and her comic rejec tion of patriarchal authority make her delightful. In many ways, she stands in sharp contrast to Grands Angelica who ends as a more tragic character. While dressed as the Boy she is selfassured, physically energetic, and extremely witty. As Angelica, under the disapproving


50 gaze of the Tenor, she defends her decisi on to cross-dress admirably, listing every womens rights grievance as she does so. Ho wever, the Tenors masculine disapproval combined with the realization that as a woma n she is not being heard, seem to break her. She reverts back into the stereotypical woma n of the time, becoming helpless and slightly hysterical. While Angelicas deflation is trag ic, her cross-dressed actions are not. They indicate the superficial nature of gender and womans unrealized potential. Angelica offers hope for the future, if not for herself. Both of the cross-dresse d characters explored in this thesis hold out hope and lessons for a future of gender and social equality. Both novels explored in this thesis unite to dispel the myth of innate male superiority and by doing so, they indicate th at other hierarchies based upon innate superiority are also construc ted and, therefore, capable of being destroyed. The Final Word Suddenly this thesis, which began as a hu ge undertaking, seems small. There are pertinent and related issues that I want to explore and which could have been included in this thesis. For example, the issue of racial cross-dressing (passing) as seen in texts such as Griffins Black Like Me (1962), Larsens Passing (1929), and Demijohns Black Alice (1968). The relationship between class/econ omic status and race evident in these texts is fascinating. What I find especially interesting about this issue is societys need to conflate an individuals physical app earance (race and gender most notably) with their social/economic merit. Another related issue is the fact that while it is tactically accepted in our current society for women to wear mens cl othing, it is still unacceptable for men to


51 wear womens clothing. Furthermore there is a definite discomfort present when women participate in traditionally masc uline activities such as boxing and weightlifting, or appear to be too aggressi ve (i.e.bitchy), or are more financially successful than their male counterparts. Anot her issue is the recent trend in movies to make the cross-dresser seem ridiculous ( Tootsie Mrs. Doubtfire and Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar ) or an outsider/freak beyond inclusion into normal society (Boys Dont Cry and Psycho ). Obviously there still exists a definite level of discomfort associated with challenges such as these, wh ich can be read as threatening to the male dominated hierarchy of our culture. As I said, for me this thesis opened up more questions than it answered and I have come to realize that this is perhaps it s purposeto fill the student with a curiosity that is never-ending, but leads from one sear ch into another and another without end.


52 Thesis Bibliography Primary Texts Balzac, Honore de. The Girl with the Golden Eyes. Revolutionary Writing Ed/Trans R. Lloyd. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. ---.Sarrasine. 1830. Roland Barthes S/Z Trans. Richard Mille r. NY: Hill and Wang, 1974. Cridge, Annie Denton. Mans Rights; or, How Would You Like It? USA: Pub. N.P., 1870. Grand, Sarah. The Heavenly Twins. 1893. Ed Carol A. Senf. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1992. Rachilde. Monsieur Venus. 1884. Trans. Liz Heron. London: Dedalus, 1992. Sand, George. Gabriel. 1839. Trans/Intro Gay Manifold.Conn: Greenwood Press, 1992. Southworth, E. D. E. N. The Hidden Hand, or Capitola the Madcap 1888. Intro/Ed. Joanne Dobson. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988. Woods, Mrs. J. Pantaletta: A Romance of Sheheland. NY: American News Co,1882. Critical/Background Texts Ackroyd, Peter. Dressing Up: Tranvestism and Drag, the History of an Obsession. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1979. Bardes, Barbara and Suzanne Gossett. Declarations of Independence New Bruswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990. Baym, Nina. Feminism and American Literary History NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992.


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54 Dobson, Joanne. The Hidden Ha nd: Subversion of Cultural Ideology in Three MidNineteenth-Century American Womens Novels American Quarterly 38 1986:223-42. Dowling, Linda. The Decadant and the New Woman in the 1890s. Reading Fin de Siecle Fictions Ed Lyn Pykett. London: Longman, 1996. Duff, David. Punch on Children. Great Britain: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1975. Elbert, Monika M., ed. Separate Spheres No More: Gender Convergence in American Literature, 1830-1930 Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Pub., 2000. Ellis, Albert and Albert Abarbanel, ed. The Encyclopedia of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 2 NY: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1961. Ellis, Havelock. Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Vo l. 7: Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co., Pub., 1928. Elwin, Malcolm. Old Gods Falling. London: Collins Pub., 1939. Epstein, Cynthia Fuchs. Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender and the Social Order NY: Yale University Press, 1988. Epstein, Julia and Kristina Straub, ed. Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity NY: Routledge, 1991. Faguet, Emile. Balzac 1918. NY: Haskell House Pub., 1974. Felski, Rita. The Gender of Modernity Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995. Fenichel, Otto. The Collected Papers of O tto Fenichel, First Series NY: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1953. Festa-McCormick, Diana. Honore de Balzac Boston: Twayne Pub., 1979. Fletcher, Ian. Romantic Mythologies. NY: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1967. Flugel, J.C. The Psychology of Clothes 1930. NY: International Un iversities Press,Inc., 1971. Forty, George and Anne Forty. Women War Heroines London: Arms and Armour Press, 1997. Foster, Jeanette H. Sex Variant Women in Literature. NY: Vintage Press, 1956.


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61 Appendices


Appendix A Illustrations (Williams 29) 62


Appendix A (Continued) (Williams 29) 63


Appendix A (Continued) 64 The Bloomer Costume #1


Appendix A (Continued) Currier and Ives idea of the Bloomer Costume. Originally printed in 1851. 65


Appendix A (Continued) Mary E. W. in Bloomer Costume 66


Appendix A (Continued) The Bloomer Costume #2 67


68 Endnotes i Contemporary discussions of transvestism, such as are found in Woodhouse and Dekker, often make a distinction between the literal meaning of transvestism and sexual practices. ii In Paradoxes of Gender (18). iii "Philo taught that progress for the female meant giving up the female gender (Bullough 77). iv Linda Dowling convincingly links the New Woman and Decadent writer in her article, The Decadent and the New Woman in the 1890's. v Dr. John Moore, professor of Classi cs at New College of Florida claims that "the ancient sources for the story are fairly late--the fullest is Apollodorus, Bibliotheca iii.13.8" 12/2001. vi In an attempt at dress reform, this costume was creat ed by Elizabeth Smith Miller in 1851. It consisted of loose trousers gathered at the ankles worn beneath a short dress or skirt and vest. See Appendix for illustrations. vii D'Emilio and Freedman discuss this phenomenon in Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, p.124-25. viii See Chapter 5 of Mosses The Image of Man for an in-depth discussion of the association of homosexuality with social corruption. ix See Appendix for examples of Punch cartoons addressing female adoption of male attire. x See Nancy Tuana's The Less Noble Sex for a complete discussion of the use of nineteenth-century science and philosophy to maintain sexual dichotomies. xi 'The Cult of True Womanhood', as Barbara Welter named it in her influential essay of the same title, privileged the attributes of piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. Among the media promulgating True Womanhood as the feminine ideal were sentimental novels, conduct books, advice manuals, sermons, and women's magazines" (Davidson 887). xii "Nineteenth-century medical theories classified all wo men as predisposed to illness, that is, as invalids; this representation of female illness pervades women's fiction in the nineteenthcentury" (Davidson 423). xiii In the larger novel, the reader is introduced to Diavolo, Angelica's twin brother. Grand uses him to illustrate the different way which society treats people on the basis of gender and nothing more. xiv Though Angelica does indeed have a twin (Diavolo), this twin is not the Tenors Boy and cannot be. xv Merriam-Webster, (10 th ed,, 1999) offers the following definitions: Trickster: "c: a deceptive character appearing in various forms in the folklore of many cultures" ; Hoyden: a girl or woman of saucy, boisterous, or carefree behavior"; and Madcap: "marked by capriciousness, reckless ness, or foolishness". xvi Southworth describes her childhood spent "with the old Negroes in the kitchen, listening with open ears and mind to the ghost stories, old legends and tales (Papashvily 111). xvii Southworths humorous labeling of her characters enables the reader to instantly establish that characters nature xviii This theme is also seen in works such as Brontes Wuthering Heights and Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper. xix A version of The Hidden Hand was originally serialized in 1859, and later edited and re-released as a book in 1889.


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