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my breathing & everything; puttering grubble

As for queer — sometimes said to have taken on its homosexual connotations only in the twentieth century — Lister used it throughout her diary to refer to the female genitalia, typically conjoining it with the deliciously Anglo-Saxon verb to grubble:

“My knees and thighs shook, my breathing & everything told her what was the matter. She said she did me no good. I said it was a little headache & I should go to sleep. I then leaned on her bosom &, pretending to sleep, kept puttering about & rubbing the surface of her queer. Then made several gentle efforts to put my hand up her petticoats which, however, she prevented. But she so crossed her legs & leaned against me that I put my hand over & grubbled her on the outside of her petticoats till she was evidently a little excited.”

ex Terry Castle, ed., The Literature of Lesbianism : A Historical Anthology from Ariosto to Stonewall (2003) : “introduction” : 35 : link

“Puttering” appears to be Terry Castle’s Americanism for pottering.
The passage (from an entry dated 20 September 1824) appears in No Priest But Love : The Journals of Anne Lister from 1824-1826 (Helena Whitbread, editor (and decoder), 1992) : 47
not accessible to me at present, but variously on the internet, including
Mrs. Barlow, at Anne Lister & Gentleman Jack — people, places and connections : link

Anne Lister (1791-1840)
diarist, “the first modern lesbian” and perhaps more widely known in recent years as “Gentleman Jack”
wikipedia : link
annelister.co.uk : link

9 January 2024