'Albert Nobbs', Ladies and Gentlemen, and Quare Irish Female Erotohistories

McIvor, Charlotte
McIvor, C (2013) ''Albert Nobbs', Ladies and Gentlemen, and Quare Irish Female Erotohistories'. Irish University Review, 43 .
This essay models an approach to quare Irish female erotohistoriography through analyzing George Moore's 1918 novella 'Albert Nobbs' (later adapted as The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by French feminist playwright Simone Benussa in 1977, and then as the 2011 film, Albert Nobbs, adapted by and starring Glenn Close) and Emma Donoghue's 1996 stage play, Ladies and Gentlemen. Both Irish-authored works concern the lives of mid- to late nineteenth-century individuals born as biologically female who live or perform as men. I focus on representations of the erotic at the juncture of love and marriage in these works in a bid to recover quare Irish female 'erotohistories.' This approach follows Elizabeth Freeman's use of 'erotohistoriography' and Noreen Giffney's embrace of 'quare theory' as an Irish practice of queer theory that insists on the intersection between queer, lesbian, and feminist work. The desires detailed in these works call into question historical understandings of Irish female identity circumscribed by heteronormative frameworks. In turn, 'Albert Nobbs' and Ladies and Gentlemen ultimately reveal how these same frameworks must conceal the quare as constitutive of their own existence.
Edinburgh University Press
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland