Because Gothic fiction was the one semi-respectable genre that regularly explored sexual and social transgressions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, George Haggerty's Queer Gothic argues that it makes sense to consider the ways in which Gothic fiction itself helped to shape thinking about sexual matters, create the darker shadows of the dominant fiction, and jump-start the age of sexology.
Haggerty examines a variety of issues, including the ways in which Gothic fiction centers on loss as the foreclosure of homoerotic possibility, the uses to which same-sex desire can be put in a patriarchal culture, and the relationship between transgressive sexual behaviors and a range of religious behaviors understood as 'Catholic.' Other chapters consider the erotic implications of Gothic millenialism and move beyond the eighteenth century to discuss Gothic fiction in the 1890s and 1990s, including Henry James' The Ambassadors, Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, and Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley.
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