Radclyffe Hall is the pen name of Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall (1880-1943), an English poet and novelist. Hall was renowned for her open homosexuality, a subject dealt with in her best-known novel, The Well of Loneliness (1928), a semi-autobiographical work and the only one of her eight novels to deal with overt lesbian themes. Her open treatment of lesbianism in The Well of Loneliness occasioned a trial for obscenity; it was banned and an appeal refused, which resulted in all copies in Britain being destroyed. The US allowed its publication after a long court battle. She also published several volumes of verse including Twixt Earth and Stars: Poems and Songs of Three Counties and Other Poems. Her novel Adam’s Breed won the Prix Femina and the 1927 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.
The Well of Lonelinessby Radclyffe Hall
First published in 1928, this timeless portrayal of lesbian love is now a classic. The thinly disguised story of Hall's own life, if was banned outright upon publication and almost ruined her literary career.
- Buccaneer Books, Inc.
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They hoped without faith for the future, yet we have both now.
'The Well of Loneliness' is a very solid book, but when you look closely, it has two or three themes that it trumpets again and again, almost to the exclusion of all else. I think it would be more successful if Stephen wasn't so typical of the mannish 'dyke' type, and her lovers weren't such obvious 'femmes'-it seems to wallow in stereotyping. It's also heavily reliant on quasi-scientific theories of 'inversion', which are laughable to a modern reader. And her girlfriends, Angela especially, are so unsympathetic! All the same, it's a relief to see how much attitudes to homosexuality have changed, and it's a virtual tour of period detail. I'd say the book falls apart badly at the end (almost sagging under its own weight) but for the rest of the time it's worth a look, even if you disagree with many of its central themes.