Bookfilter: Smashing the Patriarchy, Gothic Victorian Style
May 31, 2018 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I love both Fingersmith (and all other Sarah Waters novels--assume I have already read them all) and The Crimson Petal and the White. What should I read next?

Lesbian romance a plus but not required. Tragic lesbians a minus. Shitty cis het men wearing frock coats and cravats getting their comeuppance at the hands of brilliant, badass women is what I'm after here. Thanks!
posted by soren_lorensen to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
The Woman in White certainly fits the bill! You may also like Lydia Gwilt in Armadale.

The Quincunx (a personal favourite) doesn't really have many women in it but it slowly but surely dismantles a lot of Victorian patriarchal-ness as the story unfolds. The Unburied, also by Charles Palliser, too.

Villette/Jane Eyre fit the bill for brilliant women, and Villette has a few lesbian hints if you look closely.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 7:53 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Queer-friendly but the main romantic arc is not queer, takes place in 1899: Angela Carter's Nights At The Circus: "They say - her dream will be the coming century. And oh, how frequently she weeps!"

ETA: Lots of comeuppance.
posted by Frowner at 8:02 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Enthusiastically seconding The Quincunx, The Unburied, as well as Palisser's most recent, Rustication. All dismantle Victorian patriarchy very satisfyingly, but are also just blisteringly good reads.
posted by Ziggy500 at 8:12 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just read Witches of New York and it scratched that Sarah Waters badass, queer, Victorian women embroiled in a supernatural mystery itch.
posted by forkisbetter at 8:26 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm back with a link - Neo Victorian novel recommendations from Charles Palisser. This is a favourite genre of mine!
posted by Ziggy500 at 8:34 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte, is pretty mind blowing.
posted by corb at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

They are young adult books - but have you come across the Mortal Engines series? They are deeply, yet futuristically, steampunk and fairly mature in outlook, though being YA there's not much in the way of sex. But there is some very melancholy transhumanism/body horror.

Dunno about queerness and patriarchy-smashing though. Everybody's equally messed up by Municipal Darwinism.
posted by glasseyes at 5:06 PM on May 31, 2018

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