DOI: 10.1111/1468-0424.12730 ISSN:

The Story of Miss C.’s Seduction of Young Women. A Methodological Quest into Female Same‐Sex Relations at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Rikke Andreassen
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Gender Studies


This article explores a series of newspaper articles from 1908, describing Miss C. – a Copenhagen woman who, apparently, hosted carnal orgies in which she ‘converted’ young women into sapphism. While most historical sources only hint at female same‐sex relationships or describe women's romantic (platonic) feelings for one another, these articles are explicit in their descriptions of lust and carnal sex. For this reason, they add nuance to our historical perceptions of (Western) female same‐sex relations during the turn of the twentieth century. Methodologically, I use my renovation of a Copenhagen flat as an entry point into the articles. I see both projects (the renovation and the analysis) through the lens of a palimpsest, understanding the surface to hide deeper layers of meaning. Thus, the renovation serves as an allegory of my search for knowledge about Miss C. and her lovers, which I attempt to uncover by engaging in reparative readings. As I develop the analysis, I reflect upon my longing to find historical characters who mirror my own identity, as well as the challenge faced by historians researching sexuality in their attempts to write about the past in ways that respect subjects without castrating them or depriving them of agency.

More from our Archive