Christina Rossetti, Sarah Grand, and the expression of sexual liminality in nineteenth century literature
This study defines sexual liminality as a transient, threshold moment in which textual characters explore not only their sexual desires, but also their gender identities. During the nineteenth century, social critics reveal that sexuality and gender play a vital role in laws, social practices, and family structure. Thus, when authors such as Christina Rossetti and Sarah Grand produce characters that embark upon introspective journeys of their sexualities against the background of social expectation, one clearly identifies the influence of life upon art. Rossetti's Prince in The Prince's Progress and Grand's Angelica in The Heavenly Twins enter into the realm of sexual liminality and personal illumination, and they leave as altered characters. The notion of sexual liminality travels into modern literature as well, as one may observe in Norah Vincent's gender study, Self-Made Man. As a cross-dresser, Vincent finds herself within the realm of sexual liminality.
British and Irish literature
0591: American literature
0593: British and Irish literature