Miles away from Screwing?

Queer Gothic Girlhood in John Harding's Florence and Giles

in Girlhood Studies
Robyn Ollett Teesside University

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Literary fiction is a widely popular arena in which discourse on sexuality and queerness is produced and disseminated. The Gothic is an especially crucial mode in literary fiction that has a historically intimate relationship with queer subjectivity. Observing this relationship between Gothic fiction and queer subjectivity, in this article I analyze the representation of queer Gothic girlhood in contemporary fiction, taking as my focus reworking of the Henry James classic, The Turn of the Screw (1898). I show how Florence and Giles develops familiar tropes attached to the figure of the queer child and look specifically at how readings of the parent text implicate contemporary readings of this figure. With close readings that draw on the queer feminist ethics of Lynne Huffer, I consider what seems to be happening to the figure of the queer Gothic girl in contemporary fiction.

Contributor Notes

Robyn Ollett is in the final year of her PhD study based at Teesside University. Robyn's research interests centre on queer female identity, contemporary queer theory, and Gothic studies. Her thesis, “Queer Lives Through Dead Eyes: Observing the New Queer Gothic” focuses on the relationship between queer issues and subjectivities and the Gothic mode in contemporary film and fiction. ORCID: Email:

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