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In this 5th installment of the appeal record of Anne/Jean-Baptiste Grandjean, we get the context in which Grandjean was accused of being "a female hermaphrodite married to a woman" and the somewhat scanty details of the initial trial, conviction, and sentencing for "profanation of the sacrament of marriage." As I'll discuss in a later installment, this is only one of the possible chargest that could have been brought against Grandjean, and in many ways the least hazardous. Does this reflect an underlying sympathy on the part of the prosecutor?

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 241 – The Appeal of Anne/Jean-Baptiste Grandjean - transcript

(Originally aired 2022/10/15 - listen here)


Sorry, no extra commentary this time. Running a bit behind this morning.

Today's passage establishes the context in which Grandjean shifted from living as female to living as male. The reasons and attitudes that are laid out here are a major part of why I have doubts about the author's later arguments that Grandjean was intersex. I think we must assume that the book's author had access to information about these events via the testimony given in Grandjean's first trial in Lyon (which we'll get to in a couple more segments).

The slightly shorter version of the publication reads more like a simple legal record (though one with significant "spin" by the author), but the expanded version, including the introductory summary here, is more clearly aimed at a popular audience. It plunges in with emotionally charged language to hook the sympathies of the reader and to clearly lay out the author's conclusions about the "truth" of Grandjean's identity and history.

This blog series (in 14 installments) is probably the most ambitious thing I've done for the Project so far.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 240 - On the Shelf for October 2022 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2022/10/01 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for October 2022.

Like the previous article, this one provides some comparative data for considering the social dynamics of singlehood. And like the previous article, it feels a bit disconnected from the main content of the volume. There are connections to be made regarding how non-married people fit into deliberate social structures even when marriage is the norm, but those connections are mostly left for the reader to make.

There's an interesting sociology in trying to figure out how a specific set of paper topics get collected together into a publication. Appended onto this collection of studies relating to singles in the ancient world, we get two papers with "comparative material" that I find hard to integrate into an overall purpose. While this paper on singlewomen in late medieval Antwerp and Bruges touches on some parallels with, for example, the position of women in Roman and Coptic Egypt, it feels like the reader is left to draw her own conclusions about how the topics speak to each other.

For all that I sometimes emphasize the opportunities that single women (and especially widows) could have--opportunities that are often more varied than popular visions of history include--we shouldn't overlook that relentless disadvantages that women had in relation to men in similar circumstances. Many of the anecdotes in this article emphasize that a woman, acting alone, often had very little leverage to enforce her legal and social rights. And that gaining the support of some male authority could be the difference between success and failure.


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