Drawing on a wide range of historical sources - court records, newspaper reports, medical records, novels, oral histories and personal papers - A Lesbian History of Britain presents the extraordinary history of lesbian experience in Britain. Covering landmark moments and well-known personalities such as Radclyffe Hall and the publication and banning of her lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness , but also examining the lives and experiences of ordinary women, it brings both variety and nuance to their shared history. In doing so, it also explores cultural representations of, and changing attitudes to, female same-sex desire in Britain. The narrative is arranged chronologically and begins with the accounts of a number of women in the 18th century who passed themselves off as men. At the same time, 'New Women' were pursuing independent careers, a self-confidence reflected in the publication of a number of novels explicitly about lesbian experience. The 20s and 30s were characterised by parliamentary debates on lesbianism, court cases and scandals, though, with two world wars, lesbian experiences were already changing, and a newly vibrant lesbian 'scene', centred on bars and night-clubs, was emerging, supported by a growing number of lesbian-oriented magazines and societies.
A Lesbian history of Britain: love and sex between women since 1500
BBC to stream show with first lesbian kiss on UK television | Alison Steadman | The Guardian
Rebecca Jennings. Manchester: Manchester University Press, Jennings has uncovered a range of thriving discursive and social communities that undermine traditional historical dichotomies of closeted vs. At school, home, and work as well as in clubs and the pages of early lesbian magazines, women found important opportunities to construct lesbian identities, social networks, and personal relationships and bonds. But the subject of female same-sex sexuality was met largely with silence, which ultimately afforded young women the opportunity to explore same-sex desire with a degree of freedom that would be largely unavailable to them in adulthood. Immediately suspect as potentially deviant, these categories, however, made possible work-based models of lesbian identity, which could become the basis of social circles defined by same-sex desire. Some opportunities to explore lesbian identities and create social bonds were more obviously queer.
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A Lesbian history of Britain : love and sex between women since N2 - The famous legend that Queen Victoria denied the existence of lesbianism may not be true, but for hundreds of years love and sex between women in Britain has been largely downplayed or invisible. Now, for the first time, the stories of women who desired other women are told in a revealing narrative sweep of years, from the cross-dressers of Tudor England to the Lesbian Avengers of twenty-first century activism. Negotiating historical events such as the outbreak of wars or changes in property law , the 'female husbands' of the eighteenth century, the 'Romantic Friends' of the nineteenth and the 'New Women' of the twentieth all forged new lesbian identities.