Riverhead Books; Reissue edition (May 1, 2000) ISBN: 1573227889
This delightfully saucy debut novel recounts the unconventional life and times of Nan King, a Victorian-era lesbian bold enough to embrace and to eventually celebrate her unorthodox sexual orientation. When she falls in love with an artful male impersonator, Nan follows her secret paramour to London and becomes part of a popular cross-dressing music hall act.
After her irresolute lover decides to marry her manager in order to safeguard her reputation, a devastated Nan flees, retreating to the seamy London netherworld inhabited by a variety of vividly drawn mashers, renters, toms, and mary annes. Barely surviving a series of sexual missteps and misadventures, a wary and jaded Nan stumbles into a relationship that eventually blossoms into true love.
A humorous and remarkably honest period piece that pays homage to women who courageously crossed the boundaries of conventional Victorian behavior and sexuality. —Margaret Flanagan (Booklist Magazine)
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