In November 1746, Henry Fielding anonymously published a sixpenny pamphlet entitled The Female Husband. 1 This story, which, for the reasons explained in Chapter 2, I shall call a novel, is Fielding’s fictionalization of the events leading to the trial and conviction of Mary Hamilton, a real-life transvestite who married three different women before being detected and punished for imposture under a clause of the laws of vagrancy. Taking a few factual details from the case, which was reported in some local newspapers, and for which Fielding’s cousin Henry Gould served as legal consultant, Fielding transformed the piece of news into a tantalizing narrative of impersonation, deceit, jealousy, love, and punishment. 2 With a narrative that moves between the conventions of criminal biography and marriage plot, The Female Husband is among his most strange and fascinating generic experiments. While purporting to provide moral guidance, the text shows a series of taboo practices, which render the professed instruction as ambiguous as the gender of the titular character. Also, as I will demonstrate over the course of this chapter, in showing socially and religiously transgressive conjugal _practices—if only to condemn them—the story complicates Fielding’s ostensible endorsement of conventional Christian matrimony as the most desirable outcome in life and in fiction.