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Passions Between Women: British Lesbian…

Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture 1668-1801

by Emma Donoghue

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I remember trying to get this book from library once, thinking it would provide good reading material for my eight-hour train ride. However, although the catalogue listed the book as being in its place on the shelf, I couldn't find it, so either it was misplaced or someone was reading it somewhere in the library. I went back a few times over the next couple of years but it was never there. I vaguely recall that it eventually acquired the status "Missing" in the catalogue, I'm not entirely sure. Nonetheless, as it wasn't readily available for me elsewhere, I hadn't had the chance to read it and it kept slipping down on my To Read lists.

Then I started reading Lilian Faderman's early study of romantic friendships (my review is here) and found myself seething at the frequent references to these friendships being non-sexual, non-physical, and finding the arguments more or less naïve. Donoghue's book sets out to question this attitude and argues convincingly that this was not always the case - there are texts that suggest otherwise. The analyses Donoghue presents are engrossing and detailed, I thoroughly enjoyed them.

This has been my bedside book so I have been reading it over several months and it is now extremely difficult to recall the details of the early parts. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and am keen to read more on the subject. ( )
  mari_reads | Aug 28, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060172614, Hardcover)

The author of the witty novel Stir Fry here turns her attention to lesbians during the late 17th and 18th centuries when wit ruled salons, . Donoghue's copious research of the legal, medical, and literary texts of the period find a lesbian culture almost as broad as our own, from working class "female husbands" to aristocratic "play-fellows" and "romantic friends." Reading this book will imbue the costume changes in Restoration drama with a whole new meaning.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

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