n a schoolroom in London at the turn of the twentieth century, a young girl lies strapped to a sloping wooden boardâa treatment the doctor has ordered for her worsening curvature of the spine. During writing lessons she is allowed to sit upright with the rest of the class, but then her arms are secured so tightly to the back of her chair that she cannot move her wrist normally. She also has trouble with her throat, and âgraver troubleâ with her feet and ankles, for which she wears ugly lace-up orthopedic boots. In the summer, âwhen the world [is] at its prettiest,â she suffers so acutely from allergiesâto food, to ï¬owers, to the airâthat her temperature soars and she is forced to lie all day in a darkened room.1 She is fed strawberries in cream in an attempt to restore her to health, but this regimen only exacerbates her ailments. She is a thin girl with freckles and long, straight blonde hair. She is slightly bucktoothed, and her eyes are a bit too close together. Her clothes do not ï¬atter her; her parents constantly remind her of her âdeï¬ciency both in looks and in mannersâ; and when
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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