E.M. Hull and the Valentino cult: gender reversal after The sheik

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In 1919 the now largely forgotten popular novelist E.M. Hull sparked a decade of infatuation with the ‘desert romance’ on the publication of her first book, The sheik. The obsession with the genre, fuelled by the release of Melford's 1921 film adaptation of the book, saw women swooning in the aisles at ‘screen god’ Rudolph Valentino's starring role. My aim here is to broaden the focus on Hull away from the much maligned novel, The sheik, by suggesting that Hull's subsequent novels, though never straying very far from the lucrative formula she cultivated with her first novel, were, in part at least, written in reaction to the uproar caused by this novel. I argue that Hull's representation of androgynous and cross-dressing women allows for her heroines to inhabit positions of relative power in relation to their male counterparts.


Externa organisationer
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Språk och litteratur


Sidor (från-till)171-182
TidskriftJournal of Gender Studies
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa