Apr. 19th, 2017

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In Progress

Further poking at Cotillion, another Lackey, and a Regency romance, with limited focus on anything.

Other

Read On Being Ill and Street Haunting by Virginia Woolf, and then spent a few hours with her narrating my interior monologue. (And then at the library read Hermione Lee's introduction to the former, which was helpful, at least in terms of "No, I did not hallucinate the end while half-asleep." (That's certainly not a criticism of the essay.)) I don't know what to say about Woolf, except that I want to read more and kind of wish I had at University; her outlook and voice are so unique and also infinitely relatable, at least for me.

Library

Read the first half (late Victorian and Edwardian) of Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain Since 1880 by Lesley A. Hall - what struck me was the sheer number of people with different goals involved in the various movements covered, and also that despite technical dates of publication major books on sexuality (eg Havelock Ellis) might have basically no circulation whatsoever for years afterwards. And also the focus on the difference the courts and other organizations had between "acceptable for a specialized audience" and "acceptable for the general public." Also there seems to have been a lot going on in the BMJ and the Lancet at the time.

Also flipped through Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain, 1918-1960 by Kate Fisher, and even that much gave a wildly unexpected view of the matter - specifically that, in terms of actual practice among working class couples, the husband was expected to be in charge of birth control and family planning decisions. This seems to have been because of a combination of ideas of headship in marriage, valuing of sexual ignorance in women, and the fact that the easiest forms of contraception to access (withdrawal, abstinence, and condoms) required some degree of male participation anyway.

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