Miss Wade

Of all Dickens's characters, Miss Wade has received the most attention for being a potential LGBT+ representative. Found in Little Dorrit, she rejects any male suitors, while forming a strong friendship with Harriet Beadle, also known as Tattycoram. 

Tattycoram runs away from her employer to be with Miss Wade. Mr Meagles gives chase, and as he tries to convince Tattycoram to return with him, his choice of language is very revealing; 

"That lady's influence over you... is founded in passion fiercer than yours, and temper more violent that yours. What can the two of you be together? What can come of it?"

He goes on to accuse Miss Wade;

"You are a woman, who, from whatever cause, has a perverted delight in making a sister-woman as wretched as she is (for I am old enough to have heard of such), I warn her against you, and I warn you against yourself!"

But it is Mr Meagles, not Miss Wade, who is to be disappointed. 

...then [she] put her arm around her waist as if she took possession of her evermore. And there was a visible triumph in her face...

Today, many Dickens scholars believe the relationship between Miss Wade and Tattycoram to be a romantic one. It is not explicit, being the 1840s, but it is recognisable. 

If the two women are meant to be a romantic couple, then it is revealing that Dickens portrays them as defying the insults thrown at them by Mr Meagles, choosing each other, despite the ferocity they face. 

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