The purpose of tags is to make information relatively easy to find. The topics covered under “people/event tags” are historical persons, authors, written works, and other specific events, organizations, or works that are the subject of the research and publications covered by the Project. This essay is intended to explain briefly how the “people/event” tags are being used.
The second purpose is to provide a tag list that the visitor can use to explore the site. The number of tags used in the project, and the organization into four different categories, doesn’t lend itself to a traditional tag-cloud. The Place and Time Period tags each have a single essay. The Event/Person and Misc. Tags will be covered in thematic groups in multiple essays due to the larger number.
I’m planning six essays for the People/Event Tags, each covering a general category with several subcategories.
- Non-Fiction Sources and General Authors
- Historic Crossdressing and Passing/Transgender People
- Historic People Relevant for Emotional, Affectionate, or Sexual Relationships
- Literary Examples of Crossdressing or Gender Disguise
- Literary Examples of Emotional, Affectionate, or Sexual Relationships
- Poetry Expressing Romantic or Sexual Relationships
This page introduces the reader to the first set of People/Events tags, which includes the following groupings:
- Authors (or their works) describing gender or sexuality issues as non-fiction
- Authors (or their works) discussing gender/sexuality issues in a more theoretical fashion
- Authors who frequently address issues of gender or sexuality in literary works (individual works may also be tagged)
- Authors who frequently includes descriptions of sex between women in literary works (individual works may also be tagged)
- Miscellaneous items, currently including specific works of art and social institutions (both historic and fictional)
Authors (or their works) describing gender or sexuality issues as non-fiction, especially those citing specific persons or cases.
The number of Arabic-language writers in this group is to some extent a result of the greater willingness of medieval Islamic culture to discuss the topic explicitly. Another significant group is “medical” writers who have suddenly discovered the clitoris and concluded it either causes or is caused by lesbian activity. Also included are travelogue type works where there is no specific person or case that can be identified.
- Abu Nasr bin Yahya bin Abbas al-Maghribi al-Samaw’uli - 12th century writer in Arabic who discusses why women might prefer lesbianism.
- Ahmad Bin Mohamad Bin Ali al-Yemeni - 9th century writer in Arabic who discusses a wide variety of topics related to lesbianism.
- Al Jaheth (quoting Muthana Bin Zuhair) - 9th century writer in Arabic who discusses variations of sexual orientation/preference in people and animals.
- Ambroise Paré - 16th century French author who wrote “Memorable Stories About Women Who Have Degenerated Into Men” (1573), i.e., case histories of transgender or intersex individuals interpreted as having experienced a physiological sex change.
- André du Laurens - 16th century French medical writer who discussed the function of the clitoris and its relation to lesbianism.
- Avicenna - Persian intellectual (980-1037) whose medical writings include a discussion of female sexual response, with including sex between women.
- Caelius Aurelianus - 4th century Roman writer who discusses varieties of sexual orientation, including lesbianism.
- Diwan Al-Sababa (Ibn Abi Hajala) - 15th century Arabic writer who makes passing reference to lesbianism.
- Helkiah Crooke - 17th century English medical writer who discussed the function of the clitoris and its relation to lesbianism.
- Hester Thrale - 18th century English socialite and diarist who commented (usually negatively) on women and men she believed to be homosexual.
- Jane Sharp - The author of The Midwives Book (England, 1671), which included discussions of the function of the clitoris and its supposed association with lesbian desire.
- Jean-Baptiste Tavernier - A French traveler in Turkey (1587) who wrote on lesbian practices in the harem.
- Leo Africanus - Berber-Andalusian writer (c. 1494 – c. 1554?) whose descriptive work on North African cultures includes a description of female fortune-tellers in Fez who seduce women.
- Ludovico Sinistrari - Italian author of a medical treatise (1700) that discusses lesbian sex.
- Medicinal Epistles (Richard Carr) - 18th Century English medical text that covers sexual issues, including the supposed relationship of the clitoris to lesbianism.
- Nicholas de Nicholay - His “Navigations into Turkey” includes stories about lesbian activity in harems. (France, 1576)
- Nuzhat al-Albâb fîmâ lâ Yûjad fî Kitâb (The Diversion of the Hearts by What is Not to Be Found in Any Book) (Ahmad Ibn Yusuf al-Tîfâshî) - 13th century writer in Arabic of an encyclopedic work that includes a chapter on lesbianism.
- Ottaviano Bey - 16th century Venetian visitor to the Ottoman Court who discusses lesbianism in Turkish harems.
- Phillip Camerarius - 17th century German author of a treatise discussing transvestism.
- Plutarch - 1st century Greek author who describes Spartan women as participating in an equivalent of the erastes/eromenos relationship.
- Rare Verities (Richard Head) - An English translation (1687) of a medical text by Joannes Benedictus Sinibaldus which discussed to relationship of the clitoris to lesbian activity.
- Rodrigo de Castro - 16th century Spanish writer who discusses the function of the clitoris and its relation to lesbianism.
- Sharif al-Idrisi - 12th c Arabic author who describes an inherent lesbian orientation in some women.
- The Mysteries of Conjugal Love Reveal’d (Nicholas Venette) - An English translation (1707) of Nicholas Venette’s sexual manual. It discusses “unnatural” sexual practices, including lesbianism, as well as discussing types of “hermaphrodites”.
- Theatrum vitae humane (Theodor Zwinger) - 16th century Swiss biographical dictionary that has a section on “tribades”.
- Thomas Gibson - Author of an English anatomy textbook (1682) that associates lesbianism with an enlarged clitoris.
- Tractatus de Hermaphroditus or a Treatise of Hermaphrodites (Giles Jacob) - 18th century Englsh text on “hermaphrodites,” which touches on intersex, transgender, and homosexual topics.
- Turkish Letters (Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq) - By a 16th century Flemish ambassador to the Ottoman court, describing lesbian activity in Turkish harems.
- Wonders of the Little World (Nathaniel Wanley) - 17th century English book of “curiosities” that includes a list of spontaneous sex-changes, primarily f>m.
Authors (or their works) discussing gender/sexuality issues in a more theoretical fashion
Authors who frequently address issues of gender or sexuality in literary works (if I also have a tag for individual works by the author, I’ve listed those here)
Authors whose work includes descriptions of sex between women where the work is a mix of fact and fiction, or the factuality is uncertain.
- Aphra Behn - 17th century English playwright and poet whose work includes female homoerotic themes and who may have had romantic or sexual relationships with women.
- The False Count (Aphra Behn)
- To the Fair Clorinda (Aphra Behn)
- Agnes de Castro (Aphra Behn or Catharine Trotter Cockburn) - Note: This refers to two separate works by this title, but discussions aren’t always clear which is being discussed so I’ve combined them.
- Margaret Cavendish - 17th century English philosopher and Duchess of Newcastle whose works include themes of female homoeroticism and women-only societies.
- The Convent of Pleasure (Margaret Cavendish)
- Matrimonial Trouble (Margaret Cavendish)
- Love’s Adventures (Margaret Cavendish)
- The Comical Hash (Margaret Cavendish)
- Mary Astell - 18th c English writer on topics that include feminism and marriage resistance.
- William Shakespeare - 16th century English playwright whose works often touch on themes of gender disguise or friendship between women.
- Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare)
- As You Like It (William Shakespeare)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare)
- Titus Andronicus (William Shakespeare)
- The Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare)
- Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare)
- Pericles (William Shakespeare)
- The Winter’s Tale (William Shakespeare)
- Two Noble Kinsmen (William Shakespeare and John Fletcher)
Miscellaneous items, currently including specific works of art and social institutions (both historic and fictional)