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Allan’s Wife (H. Rider Haggard)

19th century English adventure story (in the Allan Quatermain cycle) that includes a literally monstrous female character whose jealousy over the title character results in tragedy.

LHMP entry

Literary women who love women often lament being "the only one" or consider themselves outside of nature, but in the 18th century this begins being transformed into a sense of monstrousness. Versions of Ovid's myth of Sappho's late-life conversion to heterosexuality begin to presage this shift in the early modern era. Though a straightforward reading of Ovid's tragic ending would be that heterosexuality was the death of her, it began to be framed as a retroactive punishment for her previous love for women.

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