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Odds ‘n’ Ends: The Fiction of Romantic Friendship, Part II

Odds ‘n’ Ends: The Fiction of Romantic Friendship, Part II

Chapter:
(p.39) Two Odds ‘n’ Ends: The Fiction of Romantic Friendship, Part II
Source:
Manly Love
Author(s):
Axel Nissen
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226586687.003.0003

Part of the fascination of nineteenth-century friendship literature is its depiction of romantic friendship as being negotiated, not primarily in fictional worlds of “men without women,” but in everyday urban or rural life, within mainstream society, and often in tandem with cross-sex emotional attachments. The range of women's attitudes toward manly love detailed in these narratives may provide a clue to patterns of behavior and response in the broader culture. Clearly, the female characters in these stories respond differently to being sidelined by their lover, or at least having to share his attentions with his romantic friend. Some of these women placidly accept sharing their man with another man.

Keywords:   romantic friendship, friendship literature, mainstream society, cross-sex relation, emotional attachment, behavior pattern

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