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2020-10-14 15:05:14
[Charke, Charlotte]
A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke...Written by Herself
London: W. Reeve, A. Dodd, E. Cook, 1755. First edition. Contemporary tree calf with gilt and morocco labels to spine. Armorial bookplate of Sir Thomas Hesketh, Bart. to front pastedown, below a plate for the Easton Neston Library. Offsetting to endpapers. Light scattered foxing as typical, otherwise clean and unmarked. Collating [2], x,11-277, [1, blank]: bound without the frontis, but else complete including half and full titles. Three volumes in one, the present is bound with Theatrical Biography; or, Memoirs of the Principle Performers of the Three Theatres Royal Volumes 1-2 (London: S. Bladdon, 1772. First editions). ESTC reports 18 U.S. institutions holding copies, with the present the only copy on the market. This scarce piece of LGBTQ+ history has not appeared at auction in over 45 years. A person of "unusual intelligence, taste, and courage," Charlotte Charke made history by writing one of the earliest autobiographies in English of an LGBTQ+ person (Speaight). "Throughout her autobiography, Charke implements both male and female clothing along with a variety of objects -- including a fiddle, a sword, torches, oils, sugar, pens, puppets, and wigs -- to signal and manipulate her social position and her gender performance" (Higa). Much as those in Charke's life witnessed the physical signs of their gender non-conforming identity, the language of Charke's narrative also lays those realities bare; and Charke's memoir "describes Charke's body as 'fluid'...using object as tools to anchor a performance in gender normativity before descending into the unpredictability of ge … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Whitmore Rare Books [USA]
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