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Eleanor Rykener: On reading a trans life, and the long view of queer public sex.

In 1394, a sex worker and a Yorkshireman are arrested in a stable for public sex, and specifically for ‘committing that detestable unmentionable and ignominious vice’, sodomy. The ensuing deposition reveals that Eleanor has been known as John at various times in their life, and has had sex with both men and women. This episode places Eleanor in conversation with other cases of queer public sex, in particular that of Simeon Solomon in 1873.

Further Reading:
For Kadin Henningsen’s article on Eleanor Rykener: https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2189&context=mff
For the work of Simeon Solomon: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O126681/the-bride-bridegroom-and-sad-drawing-solomon-simeon/
For Neil Bartlett’s A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep: https://www.simeonsolomon.com/documents-online.html