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“He is rather peculiar, perhaps”: Reading Mr Rochester’s coarseness queerly

journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2018 by Claire O'Callaghan
This article re-examines the accusation of coarseness directed at Edward Fairfax Rochester, the male protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847). Elizabeth Rigby condemned Rochester as coarse for challenging normative modes of male gender and sexuality. In re-thinking Rigby’s critique, this paper provides an original reading of Brontë’s novel that explores Rochester’s ‘coarse’ behaviours as representative of queer masculinity. Drawing on contemporary queer theoretical discourse, the article suggests that Brontë’s male protagonist articulates a range of queer masculine possibilities that valuably registers a resistance to dominant ways of being in the nineteenth century. As such, I propose that Jane Eyre offers insight into the flexible ways with which Brontë conceived of male subjectivity.

History

School

  • The Arts, English and Drama

Department

  • English and Drama

Published in

Brontë Studies

Volume

44

Issue

1

Pages

123-135

Citation

O'CALLAGHAN, C., 2019. “He is rather peculiar, perhaps”: Reading Mr Rochester’s coarseness queerly. Brontë Studies, 44 (1), pp.123-135.

Publisher

Taylor and Francis © The Bronte Society

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Brontë Studies on [date of publication], available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/14748932.2019.1525885

Acceptance date

11/07/2018

Publication date

2018-12-17

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0309-7765

Language

en

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