Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Postal PleasuresSex, Scandal, and Victorian Letters$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kate Thomas

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730919

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730919.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 April 2020

Postscript: Henry James’s Public Servant

Postscript: Henry James’s Public Servant

(p.208) Chapter Five Postscript: Henry James’s Public Servant
Postal Pleasures

Kate Thomas

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a reading of the female civil servant as a queer agent in Henry James’ 1898 novella In the Cage. This novella’s central trope of "queer extensions" of experience and self are likened to James’ own playful postal practices such as flirtatious post-scripts, and coded notes on envelopes. Much recent queer scholarship on this novella emphasises blackmail and the threat that the postal worker could expose gay male subjectivity. By recentering the girl, and refocusing on her as a civil servant engaged in public postal work, this chapter is able to see the girl telegraphist as herself queer, and her role as a "network functionary" as animating and expressive of her queerness.

Keywords:   post office, sex, telegraph, henry james, queer, in the cage, civil service, lesbian, literature, victorian

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .