The Victorians elevated the home and heteronormative family life to an almost secular religion. Yet alongside the middle-class domestic ideal were other families, many of which existed in the literature of the time. Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature is chiefly concerned with these atypical or "queer" families. This collection serves as a corrective against limited definitions of family and is a timely addition to Victorian studies. Interdisciplinary in nature, the collection opens up new possibilities for uncovering submerged, marginalized, and alternative stories in Victorian literature. Broad in scope, subjects range from Count Fosco and his animal "children" in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, to male kinship within and across Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and the nexus between disability and loving relationships in the fiction of Dinah Mulock Craik and Charlotte M. Yonge. Queer Victorian Families is a wide-ranging and theoretically adventurous exposé of the curious relations in the literary family tree.

chapter |16 pages

Queer Victorian Families

An Introduction

part |79 pages


chapter |21 pages

Esther Summerson's Estate

The Queer, Quasi-Monarchical Line of Beauty, Family, and Inheritance in Bleak House 1

chapter |20 pages

William Sharp's Neo-Paganism

Queer Identity and the National Family

part |57 pages

Queer Actually

chapter |17 pages

A “Strange Family Story” 1

Count Fosco, His Animal Children, and the “Safe” Patriarch in Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White

chapter |18 pages

“The right and natural law of things”

Disability and the Form of the Family in the Fiction of Dinah Mulock Craik and Charlotte M. Yonge

chapter |21 pages

Two Girls in Love

Romantic Friendship and the Queer Family in Elizabeth Anna Hart's The Runaway

part |56 pages

Queer Connections

chapter |19 pages

Reading on the Contrary

Cousin Marriage, Mansfield Park, and Wuthering Heights

chapter |16 pages

The Victorian Family in Queer Time

Secrets, Sisters, and Lovers in The Woman in White and Fingersmith