|IN FEMALE DISGUISE
A Concatenation of Crossdressers
It has been remarked recently that Anthologies are "in". Poetry anthologies, of course, have long been in favour but short stories with a linking theme - sometimes very tenuous - have now become an important part of most publishers' lists.
I would hazard one reason - readers like to be able to pick up and browse; not to become immersed to the exclusion of all others, but to pass the odd hour in a relaxed yet entertaining way.
Mr Farrer's researches and fine-toothcombings have resulted in a very entertaining and, in some cases, surprising, collection of writings with a theme. That of literature's treasury of men who for reasons of one kind or another find it necessary to disguise themselves as females.
As his scholarly introduction informs us, Peter Farrer's reading ranged over the centuries, from classical times to modern, until lack of space decided him to stop at the end of the nineteenth century.
The wealth of material, which he hasn't been able to include, would provide at least another volume, but those he has quoted make a grand appetiser.
Contents include extracts from books, as well as complete stories; and authors as diverse as Thomas Mallory, Daniel Defoe, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and the popular Anon, (to mention only a few) provide a miscellany which may defeat the browsing intent and keep the reader deeply immersed for far longer than originally planned.
Which, as well we bookworms know, is always the true aim.
In all, forty-two stories or extracts, three colour plates and many black and white illustrations, are packed into nearly four hundred pages. A feast for all.
Men In Petticoats | Borrowed
Plumes | Confidential Correspondence
On Cross Dressing 1911-1915 |