Colouring the Past

Death, Desire and Homosexuality in Vernon Lee's 'A Wedding Chest'

in Critical Survey

Earlier, in 1928, Virginia Woolf had conducted a literary exploration into such transformations of gender in her novel Orlando: A Biography inspired by the sapphic charms and aristocratic history of her friend and lover Vita Sackville-West.2 In Woolf ’s text, the eponymous protagonist experiences a series of time slips that coincide with comparable shifts in sex. In his essay ‘The Forest Beyond the Frame: Picturing Women’s Desires in Vernon Lee and Virginia Woolf’, Dennis Denisoff demonstrates the unacknowledged influence of Vernon Lee on Woolf’s Orlando.

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