Male-to-Female Crossdressing in Early Modern English Literature

Male-to-Female Crossdressing in Early Modern English Literature : Gender, Performance, and Queer Relations

4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This volume examines and theorizes the oft-ignored phenomenon of male-to-female (MTF) crossdressing in early modern drama, prose, and poetry, inviting MTF crossdressing episodes to take a fuller place alongside instances of female-to-male crossdressing and boy actors' crossdressing, which have long held the spotlight in early modern gender studies. The author argues that MTF crossdressing episodes are especially rich sources for socially-oriented readings of queer gender-that crossdressers' genders are constructed and represented in relation to romantic partners, communities, and broader social structures like marriage, economy, and sexuality. Further, she argues that these relational representations show that the crossdresser and his/her allies often benefit financially, socially, and erotically from his/her queer gender presentation, a corrective to the dominant idea that queer gender has always been associated with shame, containment, and correction. By attending to these relational and beneficial representations of MTF crossdressers in early modern literature, the volume helps to make a larger space for queer, genderqueer, male-bodied and queer-feminine representations in our conversations about early modern gender and sexuality.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 408g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 Halftones, black and white
  • 1138951218
  • 9781138951211

Table of contents

Introduction: Passing Relations

1. Doublecrossdressing Encounters: Haec Vir and Hic Mulier, The Faerie Queene, May Day, and "Robin Hood and the Bishop"

2. Crossdressed Brides and the Marriage Market: A Mad World, My Master, Epicoene, and "Phylotus and Emelia"

3. Crossdressing and Queer Heterosexuality: Arcadia, Urania, Isle of the Gulls, and "Sport Upon Sport"

4. Crossdressing, Sex, and Gender Labor: Convent of Pleasure, Gallathea, and "The Male and Female Husband"

show more

About Simone Chess

Simone Chess is an Assistant Professor of English and an affiliate of the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at Wayne State University in Detroit. Her research interests are in Early Modern literary and cultural studies, queer studies, and gender and sexuality studies. She has published articles and book chapters on the topics of crossdressing, bathroom activism, ballads, and blindness.
show more

Rating details

2 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (1)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X