Intimate Friends:Women Who Loved Women, 1778-1928

Intimate Friends:Women Who Loved Women, 1778-1928
Intimate Friends explores the fascinating history of the erotic friendships of educated English and American women over the 150-year period leading up to the 1928 publication of Radclyffe Hall's landmark novel, The Well of Loneliness. Distinguished scholar Martha Vicinus explores all-female communities, liaisons between younger and older women, the female rake, and even mother-daughter affection. Women, she reveals, drew upon a rich religious vocabulary to describe elusive and complex erotic feelings.

Drawing upon diaries, letters, and other archival sources, Vicinus brings to life a variety of well-known and historically less recognized women, ranging from the predatory Ann Lister (who documented her sexual activities in code); to Mary Benson (the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury); to the coterie of wealthy Anglo-American lesbians living in Paris. In vivid and colorful prose, Intimate Friends offers a remarkable picture of women navigating the uncharted territory of same-sex desire.

Publication Date: 
May 1, 2006