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The Well of Loneliness (1 Viewer)

R

Ryosei_Hime

I'm not sure if this would be considered Classical Literature. It was written in 1928. It was banned and burned in the English author's - Radclyffe Hall - country because it's main character Stephan Gorden is a Lesbian. In America however it was quite popular.
It's set in the Victorian Era and the main character is born to respectable, not to mention rich, parents. She finds as she grows up that she is different from other girls and so does her father. Her mother feels a disconnection from her because of this though her father tries to support her difference and make her strong enough to defend herself against the prejudices he knows she'll face in the future.
Stephan Gordon grows to be a strong athlete and very good writer but a mishap with a married woman who reveals her "illness" as it's seen in the time to her mother forces her to move to the city where she becomes a writer. In the city she meets other "introverts" - the popular name for homosexual behavior at the time - and learns she's not alone. The book proceeds through the first World War and this is where she meets her true love Mary. After the war is over she goes on to live with Stephan and the rest of the book is focused on their relationship.
Personally this is one of my favorite books. As a lesbian myself it holds deep inspiration for me despite the thinking of the people in this time period - even the author. Stephan Gordon is a character I can relate to on many levels and as a young teen this book gave me a lot of support I couldn't find anywhere else. It's literary value is great as well. The whole time I read this book I couldn't put it down and I've reread it many times now. This has put a little strain on my 1940s copy of the book (*is only bragging a little*) but it's a wonderful story. So far I've tried to discuss this book in several forums but have yet to find anyone else who has read it let alone wants to talk about it.
 
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ladyaemy

Member
Sorry to hear you're not getting much of a response on this one, Ryosei

Altho' not a lesbian myself, I've noticed this book has been making a "come-back" as one of the firsts in its field.

We had a copy in the house when I was younger, but I remember not being allowed to read it (!)

Will have to go back to Wiki and other online resources and refresh my understanding of what Hall was trying to do.


Aemy
 
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Ryosei_Hime

Really? I've had a hard time finding other people who are familiar with it. I'm glad to know it's gaining popularity again. It was about seven years ago when I first read it. I found it in my cousin's garage. She's an older cousin. Around seventy or eighty years old. We're not close so I can't remember. So she let me borrow it then she told me I could have it. It belonged to her late husbands first wife so I don't think she'd ever read it.
 

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