'More than slightly mad': Beverley Nichols and the Merry Hall trilogy

Joshua G. Adair

In Volume 6, Issue 1
Special Issue: Consuming Gender

Abstract

This essay analyses Beverley Nichols’s Merry Hall trilogy—frequently dismissed as ‘garden writing’—as an often overlooked form of queer literature. Using Jack Halberstam’s theories about queer failure, this essay examines the ways in which the now relatively obscure author was able to commodify himself and his lifestyle for a specific audience. In so doing, the author argues, he attempted to further the cause of queer acceptance in the process, even to the detriment of what some consider could have been a more important or worthwhile career.


Keywords: Beverley Nichols, Queer Theory, garden writing, mid-century England, domesticity


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