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Radclyffe Hall: A Woman Called John
by Sally Cline
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0879517085, Paperback)She's best known as the author of The Well of Loneliness, "the one lesbian novel everyone has heard of," feminist scholar Sally Cline wittily remarks. But in her lifetime (1880-1943), Radclyffe Hall was a popular writer who deliberately courted controversy with her fifth novel, banned as obscene in 1928 after one of the 20th century's most notorious literary trials. Cline devotes valuable critical attention to Hall's other books, and to a flamboyant personal life (a virtual who's who of homosexual Britain) that was at odds with her political and religious conservatism.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:27 -0400)
"Radclyffe Hall was a legend in her own lifetime and her fame has never faded. She was also a lesbian, which became part of that legend. Christened Marguerite, a shy child with golden curls and Victorian muslin dresses, she became - at a time when men wore the trousers - a flamboyant character who smoked small green cigars, cross-dressed in Chinese silk smoking jackets, and called herself John. In 1928, when she was forty-eight, her fifth novel, The Well of Loneliness, was banned for obscenity, despite protests from leading literary and political figures, turning the book into a bestseller and bringing Hall literary fame." "First a serious poet and novelist, then a cause celebre, Hall was also a sometime feminist, a member of the Natalie Barney-Djuna Barnes Paris circle, and a Catholic convert who believed in spiritualism. In this, the first major biography of this influential, ultra-flamboyant lesbian novelist, Sally Cline uses new material to explore the connections among Hall's writing, life, and milieu, meticulously analyzing the effects on a writer of her readiness to become a martyr to a cause."--BOOK JACKET.
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