melville herman

louisa may alcott, w. h. auden, jane austen, james baldwin, charlotte brontë, lord byron, truman capote, willa cather, emily dickinson, e. m. forster, langston hughes, christopher isherwood, henry james, federico garcía lorca, christopher marlowe, herman melville, edna st. vincent millay, wilfred owen, marcel proust, mary renault, arthur rimbaud, siegfried sassoon, william shakespeare, gertrude stein, alfred lord tennyson, henry david thoreau, walt whitman, oscar wilde, tennessee williams, virginia woolf

what do all these beloved classic authors have in common? that’s right. none of them were straight. not a one. every single author on this list experienced same-gender romantic attraction during their lives. literary tradition is a hundred times more queer than what your high school english class would ever let you know

Classic Books List

“Why read the classics? A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” These are a few recommendations, books everyone should read. Don’t let yourself be convinced they are good: read and decide for yourself!

(no particular order intended)

  • Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Hard Times - Charles Dickens
  • The Karamazov Brothers - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
  • The Waves - Virginia Woolf
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  • Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  • Richard II - William Shakespeare
  • Little Women - Louisa Alcott
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
  • Emma - Jane Austen
  • Anna Karenina - Liev Tolstói
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
  • Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
  • The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton 
  • Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  • Lord of The Flies - William Golding
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
  • Persuasion - Jane Austen
  • War and Peace - Liev Tolstói
  • Macbeth - William Shakespeare
  • The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe
  • Dracula - Bram Stoker
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar - Edgar Allan Poe
  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka 
  • Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  • Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
  • King Lear - William Shakespeare
  • The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
  • Jean Barois - Roger Martin du Gard
  • Wives and Daughters - Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
  • Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

i want to like. make a list of not-str8 historical figures bc ppl are tagging that walt whitman post like “omg wait really” & honestly yall deserve better.

Like, you know who wasn’t straight? Charlotte Bronte, who wrote Jane Eyre. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who wrote Swan Lake. E.M. Forster, who wrote A Passage to India. Marcel Proust. Henry James. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Virginia Woolf. Herman Melville. Michelangelo. Leonardo Da Vinci. Socrates. William fucking Shakespeare.

And these are just (a few of) the ones we known about, because there’s a storied history of coded messages in literature that mean we are often looking gay metaphors in the face and not understanding them. We’re there, we’re out there, and I’m so mad that I didn’t know.

We have a history. We have a legacy. WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE.

sea shanties masterpost

“one man cannot bring in the anchor. ten men cannot bring in the anchor. but together we can.”

making this because it’s useful for my specific brand of dramaturgy and i generally have a good deal of feelings about sea shanties. these are the result of far too much time searching around for shanties that are both authentic and have a tune that can be found on the internet. organized by theme.

these can all be done a capella, obviously, but if you want accompaniment, getting your hands on a concertina would be ideal.

General Shanties

Roll the Old Chariot Along (David Coffin)

Haul Away, Joe (The Eskies)

Rant and Roar (Howling Gael)

Haul Away the Bowline (The Exmouth Shantymen)


Away Rio (David Coffin)

Leave Her, Johnny (Coda)

The Rosabella (skip to 3:15) (Wareham Whalers)

Off to Sea Once More (The Black Irish Band)

Clear Away in the Morning (Great Bay Sailor) 

South Australia (Johnny Collins)

Randy Dandy Oh (Johnny Collins)


With You, Fair Maid (skip to 14:30) (Before the Mast)

Spanish Ladies (unknown artist) (psa this one is in moby-dick!!)

Bully in the Alley (skip to 24:10) (Before the Mast)

London Julie (Three Sheets to the Wind)

Excursion Round the Bay (The Fables)

The Maid of Amsterdam (The Roaring Trowmen)


Round Cape Horn (Cyril Tawney)

Fish in the Sea (youtube user threelegsomen)

To Old Maui (skip to 9:28) (Before the Mast)


The Boatman’s Cure  (John Roberts)

Drunken Sailor (Irish Rovers)

Fifteen Men (unknown artist)

Newer/Environmentally Conscious

No More Fish, No More Fisherman (David Coffin)

The Last Leviathan (skip to 13:40) (Fisherman Friends) (bit of a stretch to call this a shanty per se but it’s really good and sad so)


The family tree with all the caricatures was JD’s idea.  He wanted all of his long dead influences sprouting from his head.  I hadn’t done any caricatures in a while so this was a return to form for me.  My favorites are Calloway, Bolger, Wells and Lux.