By Kate Thomas

ISBN-10: 0199730911

ISBN-13: 9780199730919

In 1889 uniformed post-boys have been came upon moonlighting in a West finish brothel frequented via males of the higher sessions. "The Cleveland road Scandal" erupted and Victorian Britain confronted the chance that the put up Office-a bureaucratic spine of country and empire-was inspiring and servicing subversive sexual habit. in spite of the fact that, the not likely alliance among intercourse and the postal carrier used to be now not precisely the information the sensational press made it out to be. Postal Pleasures explores the connection among illicit intercourse and the Royal Mail from reforms initiated in 1840 as much as the imperial finish of the 19th century. With a mix of ancient information and literary analyses, Kate Thomas illustrates how the postal community, its uniformed staff, and its fabric trappings-envelopes, postmarks, stamps-were used to sign and stream sexual intrigue. for plenty of, the assumption of an envelope promiscuously jostling its acquaintances in a put up boy's bag, or the thought that secrets and techniques gone through the eyes and arms of telegraph women, was once extra stimulating than the particular contents of correspondence. Writers like Anthony Trollope, Eliza Lynn Lynton, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others, invoked the postal procedure as either an software and a metaphor for sexual relatives that crossed and double-crossed strains of sophistication, marriage, and heterosexuality. Postal Pleasures provides a brand new measurement to reports of the period because it uncovers the not likely linkage among the Victorian publish workplace and the queer networks it encouraged.

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Additional resources for Postal Pleasures: Sex, Scandal, and Victorian Letters

Example text

It was gone from me like life, never to be recalled. It would get tossed about on the sea, and stained with sea-waves perhaps, and be carried among palm-trees, and scented with all tropical fragrance; the little piece of paper, but an hour ago so familiar and commonplace, had set out on its race to the strange wild countries beyond the Ganges! ” It is a transitive missive. It transports both Mary and Peter, and Gaskell's prose becomes most poetic about imagining transportation itself. ” This is a postal plot, rather than epistolary: Gaskell draws our attention to the marks of passage that the letter will accrue: stains and scents.

It was gone from me like life, never to be recalled. It would get tossed about on the sea, and stained with sea-waves perhaps, and be carried among palm-trees, and scented with all tropical fragrance; the little piece of paper, but an hour ago so familiar and commonplace, had set out on its race to the strange wild countries beyond the Ganges! ” It is a transitive missive. It transports both Mary and Peter, and Gaskell's prose becomes most poetic about imagining transportation itself. ” This is a postal plot, rather than epistolary: Gaskell draws our attention to the marks of passage that the letter will accrue: stains and scents.

The letter written by a woman in Cranford and addressed to Peter never makes it to him, and is instead returned to its origin where many years later it is read—by a woman in Cranford. This explains Mary's sense of intimacy with his story and why, when she begins to write a “few words about herself,” she ends up crossing wires between his life and her own. ” It is one text that has not been subject to readings, or even the labelings and filings of Miss Jenkyns, as it was “inadvertently put by among other letters of that time” (Gaskell 100).

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Postal Pleasures: Sex, Scandal, and Victorian Letters by Kate Thomas


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