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Boston Marriage and Romantic Friendship in the 19th Century Willow, Jack, Ashley, Cleveland, Lindsay


Romantic Friendship  Nicknames  Love letters  Gifts and tokens  Female Masculinity  Devoted faithfulness  Intelligence


Boston Marriage  Independent of

Males, financially and otherwise  Career Women  Feminism  New Women


The Bostonians  By Henry James 1885  Olive and Verena  Broken apart by Olive’s cousin

Basil Ransom who convinces Venera to elope with him rather than give a speech at one of Olive’s feminist gathering  Ending implies marriage will not lead to happiness


Boston Marriage by David Mamet  Portrays two women in a Boston

Marriage  Anna a mistress to a wealthy gentleman  Claire falls in love with a young woman and conspires to seduce her in their home while Anna is busy entertaining the girls mother.  Things are complicated when the young girl recognizes the necklace Anna is wearing, given to her by her lover, as her own mothers.


Letter from Emily Dickenson  “Susie, Forgive me darling, for every

word I say, my heart is full of you, Yet when I seek to say to you something not for the words fail me.”

 Edited version


Letter from Emily Dickenson ď‚— Susie, forgive me darling, for every word I say-

my heart is full of you, none other than you in my thoughts, yet when I seek you to say to you something not for for the world, words fail me. If you were here-and oh that you were, my Susie, we need not talk at all, our eyes whisper for us, and your hand fast in mine, we would not ask for language.


The Letters of Cyril Connolly to Noel Blakiston


The Letters of Cyril Connolly to Noel Blakiston  “My mother will be here and wants to see you…”  “I would love to have you…”  “…We could have my sitting room to be unmolested in

and the country…”

 “ You must come and live here with me when it is

mine…”


Bromance  non-sexual relationship between two men, a form of

homosocial intimacy. Coined in the 1990s, the term has historically referred to a relationship between heterosexuals, but the term has gained currency in describing such relationships when one of the men is gay  “defined Male romantic friendships in the nineteenth century

United States as “noninstitutionalized”, socially sanctioned… premarital… between young, coeval, coequal, white men.”


Axel Nissen Manly Love “This was the period when homosexual became a species”


Novels that represent “Manly Love”  How is one able to

recognize romantic relationships with in fiction?

 John Godfrey’s Fortunes 1864  Temple house 1888  St Elmo 1867  Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn 1885


Examples of Romantic Friendships in Literature: Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh • The opening chapter, Et In Arcadia Ego, is

an effective example of a Romantic Friendship, while the rest of the novel tends toward debate over religion, the loss of love and the significance of heritage and the past.

• The opening portrays the story of Charles

Ryder during his formative years at Oxford university in the 1920s, where he encounters the enigmatic, charming, and, to him at least, irresistible Sebastian Flyte.

‘I was in search of love in those days.’


Description of Sebastian  ‘He was magically beautiful, with that epicene quality which in

extreme youth sings aloud for love and withers at the first cold wind.’

 ‘I knew Sebastian by sight long before I met him. That was

unavoidable for, from his first week, he was the most conspicuous man of his year by reason of his beauty, which was arresting, and his eccentricities of behaviour which seemed to know no bounds.’


‘I know of these romantic friendships of the English…I think they are very good if they do not go on too long.’

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