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Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters Ebook, pages Published May 1st by Riverhead Trade Original Title: Tipping the Velvet. Editorial Reviews. Review. The heroine of Sarah Waters's audacious first novel Tipping the Velvet: A Novel - Kindle edition by Sarah Waters. Urban Dictionary: Tipping the Velvet Cunniligus. Oralsex performed on a woman. Tipping=licking & Velvet=Clitoris Tipping the Velvet (TV.

Tipping The Velvet Pdf

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Tipping the Velvet: A Novel · Read more Tipping The Waitress with Diamonds · Read more The Human Blend (The Tipping Point Trilogy) · Read more. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. Chapter 1. Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster? If you have, you will remember it. Some quirk of the Kentish coastline. Tipping the Velvet. Based on the book by Sarah Waters. A new adaption by Laura Wade. Directed by Lyndsey Turner. A Lyric Hammersmith & Royal Lyceum .

Tipping the Velvet is a historical novel by Sarah Waters ; it is her debut novel. Set in England during the s, it tells a coming of age story about a young woman named Nan who falls in love with a male impersonator , follows her to London, and finds various ways to support herself as she journeys through the city. The picaresque plot elements have prompted scholars and reviewers to compare it to similar British urban adventure stories written by Charles Dickens and Daniel Defoe. The novel has pervasive lesbian themes , concentrating on eroticism and self-discovery. Waters was working on a PhD dissertation in English literature when she decided to write a story she would like to read. Employing her love for the variety of people and districts in London, she consciously chose an urban setting. As opposed to previous lesbian-themed fiction she had read where the characters escape an oppressive society to live apart from it, Waters chose characters who interact with their surroundings.

A regular morphodite, in fact! TTV, 49 Then it was applied to Kitty, but later it was equally, if not more, true of Nancy, who can also pass as both.

After leaving Kitty, she uses her tom-boy persona to constrict and hide her erotic passions, which, as is later revealed, only added to their strength when See Butler, Gender Trouble, — Michaela Weiss 59 she is picked up by a wealthy lady, Diana, who turns Nancy into her sex slave with her consent, sensing her suppressed desire for women.

Nan s only occupation is to be properly bathed and dressed up in a new costume, ready to pleasure her mistress in any way she commands. She once again misses the appreciative audience and equal partnership that, at least for some time, she had with Kitty.

This language manipulation was deliberate: These acts are new to her and she once again feels that their erotic adventures, bound by strict rules, give them a license to be not ourselves, or more than ourselves, as actors are TTV, In a way, it serves as just another revenge on Kitty and proves to be equally self-destructive as her experience as a male streetwalker.

Even though Nancy is now within a community of women who indulge in same-sex relationships, after almost one year she feels disgusted and bored by the constant posing and performing. When she is kicked out for defending Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle — was known for her novels and plays published under her own name and for books on natural philosophy. Her play The Convent of Pleasure contains allusions to lesbian sexuality. The Roman word for boy puer became the most common label for slaves of any age in that time as it did in the American South for black slaves who answered to the term boy more often than in response to their given slave name.

Harve E. Rawson, Talking Animals Dictio Grex: AuthorHouse, , Rawson, Talking Animals Dictio Grex , Only then does she remember Florence, a girl she once met and agreed to attend a socialist lecture with. But Nancy never arrived, as she went to Diana s mansion. This girl was Nancy s only hope. Nan gradually manages to persuade her that she can contribute to the family as a maid and at the same time feels safe because she does not desire Florence as she did Diana and would therefore not be driven by destructive lust.

The clothes I had bought, they were the kind I d used to wear in Whitstable and with Kitty. Soon Nancy wears male clothes, but this time for housework, which was traditionally female territory, and not for performance.

The surprise is mutual as Florence s friends are happy to welcome the new cousin. In bed with Florence she eventually realizes that lovemaking does not have to be a performance but sharing. She becomes a member of a queer sisterhood, a community Nancy longed for.

Even though it seems that her stage days are over, now she uses her love for performances for political reasons. Florence and her brother are active socialists but they lack charisma and acting skills. Even though Nancy does not really understand what she is proclaiming, she manages to persuade the London crowds. After refusing to be the lover of a married woman, she accepts responsibility for her life and her new family.

Finally, she passes just as Nancy and is accepted as such. Wearing male clothes is not a pose or a protection any more but a convenient habit. Bibliography Butler, Judith.

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: New and revised ed. Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, Deutscher, Penelope. Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy.

Michaela Weiss 61 Doan, Laura L. Fashioning Sapphism: Columbia University Press, Durkin, Philip. Etymology and the OED: The Uses of Etymology in a Historical Dictionary. In English Historical Linguistics John Benjamins, Faderman, Lillian. In Boston Marriages: University of Massachusetts Press, Garber, Marjorie B. Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety. Halberstam, Judith. Female Masculinity.

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Durham, NC: Duke University Press, The Arena of Sexuality: The Tomboy and Queer Studies. Kift, Dagmar. The Victorian Music Hall: Translated by Roy Kift. Cambridge University Press, Loesberg, Jonathan. The Afterlife of Victorian Sexuality: Foucault and Neo-Victorian Historical Fiction.

Clio 36, no.

Tipping the Velvet - Wikipedia

Rawson, Harve E. Talking Animals Dictio Grex: A Primer on the History of Slavery. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, Rich, Adrienne. Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. Senelick, Laurence. The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre. Showalter, Elaine. Sexual Anarchy: Viking, Smith, Patricia Juliana. Lesbian Panic: Homoeroticism in Modern British Women s Fiction. Trumbach, Randolph. London s Sapphists: In Third Sex, Third Gender: Zone Books, Waters, Sarah. Tipping the Velvet.

Virago, In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education — a sort of Moll Flanders in drag — finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.

Tipping the Velvet

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Share this: Specifically, Waters intended to write a story that focused on an urban setting, diverging from previous lesbian-themed books such as Isabel Miller 's Patience and Sarah , in which two women escape an oppressive home life to live together freely in the woods.

She said to herself at the time, "there's so much more to lesbian history than that". Waters was drawn to the Victorian era because of the mis understandings of what social norms existed during the period. As she stated, "I find it a fascinating period because it feels very close to us, and yet in lots of ways it is utterly strange: Waters pitched Tipping the Velvet to ten British publishers, but after they all rejected it, she began considering American publishing houses. Although she was picked up quickly by a literary agency, the agent spent almost a year trying to sell the book to a mainstream publisher.

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By the time Tipping the Velvet was accepted by Virago Press —one of the ten that had previously passed on the project—Waters had already begun work on her second novel. Nancy "Nan" Astley is a sheltered year-old living with her working-class family and helping in their oyster restaurant in Whitstable, Kent. She becomes instantly and desperately enamoured with a "masher", or male impersonator, named Kitty Butler, who performs for a season at the local theatre.

They begin a friendship that grows when, after Kitty finds an opportunity to perform in London for better exposure, she asks Nan to join her.

Nan enthusiastically agrees and leaves her family to act as Kitty's dresser while she performs. Although Kitty and Nan acknowledge their relationship to be sisterly, Nan continues to love Kitty until a jealous fight forces Kitty to admit she feels the same, although she insists that they keep their relationship secret. Simultaneously, Kitty's manager Walter decides that Kitty needs a performing partner to reach true success, and suggests Nan for the role.

Nan is initially horrified by the idea, but takes to it. The duo become quite famous until Nan realises she is homesick after being gone from her family for more than a year. Her return home is underwhelming, so she returns to London early to find Kitty in bed with Walter. They announce that the act is finished and they are to be married. Astonished and deeply bruised by the discovery, Nan wanders the streets of London, finally holing herself in a filthy boarding house for weeks in a state of madness until her funds run out.

After spying the male costumes she took as her only memory of her time with Kitty, Nan begins to walk the streets of London as a man and easily passes. She is solicited by a man for sex and begins renting , but dressed only as a man for male clients, never letting them know she is a woman. She meets a socialist activist named Florence who lives near the boarding house, but before she can get to know her, Nan is hired by a wealthy widow with licentious tastes named Diana.

Although realising—and initially enjoying—that she is an object to Diana and her friends, Nan stays with her for over a year as "Neville", dressed in the finest men's clothes Diana can afford.

The relationship erodes, however, and Diana throws Nan into the streets. Nan stumbles through London trying to find Florence, which she eventually does; Florence is now melancholy, however, with a child.

Nan stays with Florence and her brother Ralph, working as their housekeeper. Nan and Florence grow closer during the year they live together, and Nan learns that the previous boarder with Florence and Ralph had a child and died shortly after giving birth. Florence was deeply in love with the boarder but her affections were not returned.

During an outing to a women's pub, Nan is recognised by former fans, to Florence's astonishment, and Nan divulges her own spotty past to Florence. Cautiously, they begin a love affair. Putting her theatrical skills to use, Nan assists Ralph in preparing a speech at an upcoming socialist rally.

At the event Nan jumps onstage to help Ralph when he falters, and is noticed once more by Kitty, who asks her to come back so they can continue their affair in secret. Realising how much shame Kitty continues to feel, how much of herself was compromised during their affair, and that her truest happiness is where she is now, Nan turns Kitty away and joins Florence. The greatest literary strengths in Tipping the Velvet , according to reviewers and literary scholars, are the vibrant portrayal of the districts and streets of London, and Waters' ability to create sympathetic and realistic characters.

Her use of synaesthesia in lush descriptions particularly interested Harriet Malinowitz in The Women's Review of Books. For example, Malinowitz cites the scene when Nan first meets Kitty, removing her glove to shake Kitty's hand. Very much an oyster girl, Nan's hands are covered with "those rank sea-scents, of liquor and oyster-flesh, crab-meat and whelks, which had flavoured my fingers and those of my family for so many years we had ceased, entirely, to notice them.

Although Waters was born in Pembrokeshire , Wales, she considers herself a London writer because of her intense affection for the city, due in part to her immigration to it. Specifically, Waters is moved by walking through London and seeing remnants of many historical eras: I find that very exciting. In the Lesbian Review of Books Donna Allegra writes, "[S]he summons the era's attitudes and ambiance projecting them onto the screen of the reader's mind with Dolby wrap-around sound such that you feel you're vacationing on all points between Chelsea and the East End.

Miranda Seymour in The New York Times remarks on the "breathless passion" of the narrator's voice as being absolutely convincing, citing as an example Nancy's statement to her sister at the start of the book about why she continues to visit Kitty Butler:. It's like I never saw anything at all before. It's like I am filling up, like a wine-glass when it's filled with wine. I watch the acts before her and they are like nothing—they're like dust.

Then she walks on the stage and—she is so pretty; and her suit is so nice; and her voice is so sweet She makes me want to smile and weep, at once I never saw a girl like her before. I never knew that there were girls like her. Nan the narrator describes the irony of her "curious gaslit career" as a rent-boy only to end up—in Diana's words—as her "tart". Nan's path through the plot indicates that Tipping the Velvet is part Bildungsroman , and her journeys through the streets of London invoke elements of a picaresque novel.

Scholar Emily Jeremiah characterises the story as a Bildungsroman: Nan finds true love with Florence, who is a bit dowdy, somewhat stout, certainly not wealthy, and driven to improve the world; the least likely of all the characters. Nan's experiences eventually reveal serious faults of the society she moves through, the primary element of a picaresque novel. Michael Upchurch in The Seattle Times writes that Nan's inability or unwillingness to adhere to any profession or setting, remaining malleable until the end of the novel indicates she is her own worst enemy.

Ciocia writes that with half the novel taking place in theatrical settings, Nan may be playing a role as character in her own life or a play on a stage set in a theatre or the streets of London. She starts as a spectator watching Kitty onstage, and later with Kitty, watching how men move and behave to improve their act.

She becomes a performer, with Kitty, as a renter and again for the predatory Diana and her friends. Finally she takes the role of director as she assists and impels Ralph to perform his speech. At this point, she is able to reconcile her identity and the story ends. Sexuality and sexual identity is the most prevalent theme in the novel.

The title is an obscure Victorian pornographic slang reference to cunnilingus. The sexism of the period puts a stranglehold on women, forcing readers to compare women in the Victorian era with present-day sexual attitudes.

Nan never has difficulty accepting her love for Kitty Butler and other women; Kitty's union with Walter, however, "reeks of lesbophobia", according to Allegra. The only instance where she is overcome and flees the stage is when a drunken patron shouts a euphemism for a lesbian at her.

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