[DWJ] Personal Plumbing was Splatchers and Ransome was branding books was What are you reading?

Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Fri Nov 6 10:50:27 EST 2009

Hallie O'Donovan wrote:
> Kathleen:
> Otter Perry <ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com> wrote:
>>> Meanwhile, can anybody think of an adult heroine who menstruates?
>> It's often specifically brought up so it can be done away with - eg in
>> Alison Goodman's The Two Pearls of Wisdom, the heroine is taking a
>> drugged & poisonous tea to stop it.
>> Yes, I was thinking of that one too.  Also _Bloody Jack_ (sorry!) by L.A.
> Meyer.  That one takes the old ballad theme of 'she cut off her hair, bound
> her breasts and signed on as a ship's boy' through quite a detailed (if not
> always entirely credible) look at how, exactly, a girl might manage to
> maintain the disguise on a ship full of men...  (Admittedly, she's young
> enough not to have to bind her breasts OR worry about menstruation when she
> signs up, though the toilet arrangements are still a problem!)

I'm replying before reading all the posts, so forgive me if someone has 
already answered this,

It has been done many times in literature (and theatre), recently in 
Pratchett's _Monstrous Regiment_, though I don't blame Pratchett for 
conveniently not mentioning menstruation.

However, one tends to forget about real cases.  Women fought in the 
American Civil War as men, and some of them passed themselves off as men 
for quite a long period.  I doubt foot soldiers could conceal a secret 
like that for a long duration, but it was no trouble for at least one 
officer.  Unfortunately, I can't now remember her name, or I'd send you 
all off to Wikipedia.

If you like legends, there is always Pope Joan...

Mark A.

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