Sexual and Textual Indeterminacy: Eighteenth-Century English and Representations of Sapphism

  title={Sexual and Textual Indeterminacy: Eighteenth-Century English and Representations of Sapphism},
  author={Catherine Craft-Fairchild},
  journal={Journal of the History of Sexuality},
  pages={408 - 431}
UNTIL FAIRLY RECENTLY IT HAS BEEN commonplace in studies of eighteenth-century sexuality to dismiss the cultural fear of female-female erotic unions by comparing popular reactions to "sapphists" with public responses to "molly clubs" of male homosexuals. In her pioneering study Surpassing the Love of Men (1981) Lillian Faderman insisted that "lesbian sexuality was treated more tolerantly than male homosexuality."' Lynne Friedli, drawing attention to the absence in English law of any criminal… 
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