It's more literature than history related, but do you have any posts on queerness in Moby-Dick? I've heard Herman Melville was likely in some sort of relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, and I'm curious if you've written something about how it informed his novel
We, in particular, haven’t written anything about it, but I did do some research upon getting this message and found some neat articles about it!
Synthesis Three: Queer Imaginings in Melville’s Moby Dick
“In the final passage for this same part of the story, Ishmael does away with the possible hints and mentions of the union between Queequeg and himself, describing the relationship between himself and this islander he has just met as “man and wife” and “soulmates” of a sort. Ishmael describes: “How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg — a cosy, loving pair” (52). He even ends the passage by calling their night together their “hearts’ honeymoon,” as if he wants to make clear the fact that they are like an old married couple that has become comfortable with one another and appreciates the company of the other on a number of levels.”
The two-headed whale: Bisexuality and Melville’s “Moby-Dick.
“One aspect of this much-studied work, however, has been becoming more prominent in recent years, and that’s the aspect of the book’s–and Melville’s–sexuality. Strangely, even today in 2015 some people shirk from identifying Herman Melville as bisexual. A years-long discussion on Wikipedia about whether to identify Melville as bisexual rests uncomfortably on the judgment that it’s “speculation” or “not proven” (yet curiously Wikipedia does include Melville in an article listing bisexual people, and even includes his photo). As few of Melville’s letters have survived, he never specifically stated his preference and he was happily married to Elizabeth Knapp Shaw for over 40 years, evidently some find it “safer” to leave the topic alone or to give Melville the “benefit of the doubt” and assume as a default that he must have been heterosexual. As a bisexual myself, however, the sexual politics of Moby-Dick are pretty clear to me, and the debate seems pretty silly, especially given the collateral evidence that Melville did have relationships with men as well as women–most notably fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Moby-Dick is a bisexual novel, in my opinion.”
All of this being said, I myself haven’t even read Moby Dick so I can’t have a solid opinion, but I will say after reading these two articles this classic has been added to my Goodreads list!