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Citizen, Invert, QueerLesbianism and War in Early Twentieth-Century Britain$
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Deborah Cohler

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816649754

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816649754.001.0001

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Around 1918: Gender Deviance, Wartime Nationalism, and Sexual Inversion on the Home Front

Around 1918: Gender Deviance, Wartime Nationalism, and Sexual Inversion on the Home Front

Chapter:
(p.111) Chapter 4 Around 1918: Gender Deviance, Wartime Nationalism, and Sexual Inversion on the Home Front
Source:
Citizen, Invert, Queer
Author(s):

Deborah Cohler

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816649754.003.0004

This chapter explores the British cultural anxieties and political instabilities during the Great War that produced the first widespread public linkages between representations of female masculinity and female homosexuality in British culture. Focusing on Rose Allatini’s novel of homosexual identity Despised and Rejected, which was banned under the Defense of the Realm Act; the notorious “trial of the century” in which actress Maud Allan accused right-wing publisher Noel Pemberton Billing of libelously labeling her a lesbian; and the 1921 parliamentary debates over criminalizing female homosexuality, the chapter illustrates how British wartime identities created representational space for female homosexuality that previously had been impossible in the public sphere.

Keywords:   female masculinity, female homosexuality, British culture, Great War, female nationalism, male homosexuality

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