Author(s): Diana Souhami
Radclyffe Hall was born in 1880 in Bournemouth in a house inappropriately named 'Sunny Lawn'. Her mother drank gin in an attempt to terminate the pregnancy, and her father fled the family home. At the mercy of a violent mother and sexually abusive stepfather, her life changed when at the age of eighteen she inherited her father's estate of GBP100,000. She was free to travel, pursue women and write - most notably The Well of Loneliness, her famous novel about 'congenital inverts', which was declared 'inherently obscene' by the Home Secretary and banned. In this brilliantly written, witty and satirical biography Diana Souhami brings a fresh and irreverent eye to the life of this intriguing and troubled woman.
Winner of Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Biography and Autobiography 2000. Shortlisted for James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Biography) 1998.
'This reviewer found herself engrossed from page one. Carried along at breakneck speed by the pace and wit of Souhami's style. Fascinating and frightening, a magnificent book' Teresa Waugh, Spectator. 'An outrageously entertaining book' Victoria Glendenning, Daily Telegraph.
Diana Souhami is the author of Selkirk's Island (winner of the Whitbread Biography award), the bestselling Mrs Keppel and Her Daughter (also winner of the Lambda Literary Award and a New York Times 'Notable Book of the Year'). Her latest book is Murder at Wrotham Hill. She lives in London and Devon.
A Personal Note. MARGUERITE: The Fifth Commandment. Sing, little silent birdie, sing. Come in kid. The pearl necklace she gave me. Sporks, poggers and poons. JOHN: John and Ladye. If I can fix something for Ladye. Roads with no signposts. Chenille caterpillars. TWONNIE: The eternal triangle. A very grave slander. A grossly immoral woman. RADCLYFFE HALL: Octopi. Octopi and chains. How to treat a genius. Books about ourselves. STEPHEN GORDON: Something of the acorn about her. She kissed her full on the lips. THE TRIAL OF RADCLYFFE HALL: Aspects of sexual intercourse. Depraved practice. Sapphism and censorship. A serious psychological subject. I have read the book. Depress! Repress! Suppress! The freedom of human beings. THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE: An awful shock. Just Rye. Give us a kiss. SAME HEART: The intolerable load. A trois. How long O Lord, how long. His name was Father Martin but she called him Henry. OUR THREE SELVES: An empty fiction. Never mind Una. The rain pours down, the icy wind howls. At the Wayside. John's Cavalry. MY JOHN, MY JOHNNIE: Mine for ever. He is my occupation. Books and Notes. Illustrations. Acknowledgements. Index.