Sarah Waters, Affinity

Louisa Yates (University of Chester)
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The second of Sarah Waters' trilogy of queer Victorian historical novels,


is a claustrophobic five-part tale of deception, desire, imprisonment and spiritualism, set within the walls of Millbank prison. The narrative is set in two strands, denoted by different typefaces and set in different times, reflecting the two protagonists, the prisons' lady visitor, Margaret Prior, and spiritualist Selina Dawes. Part romance, part crime novel, part gothic horror, part 19th century social commentary, it won several awards in 2000, most notably the Somerset Maugham Award for Lesbian and Gay Fiction and the

Sunday Times

Young Writer of the Year Award. In keeping with its neo-Victorian status, the novel situates lesbian desire within the context of a specific nineteenth-century craze, in this…

2283 words

Citation: Yates, Louisa. "Affinity". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2008 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

23071 Affinity 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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