Release Date: 25 May 2010
From the much-admired literary critic, novelist, and scholar--a book that illuminates the long-standing but little-known tradition of love between women in English and other Western literature from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Chaucer and Shakespeare, Coleridge and Charlotte Bronte, Dickens and Diderot, Agatha Christie and Lillian Hellman--writers of every age have addressed the "unspeakable subject" of one woman's passion for another, questioning whether such desire is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heartwarming or ridiculous. Now Emma Donoghue brings to bear all of her celebrated erudition and wry insight on the theme of desire between women--from schoolgirls to vampires to runaway wives; from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murderers. She writes about the half-dozen contrasting girl-girl plots that have been retold over the centuries, and explores how they have changed from generation to generation and how all the writers, acutely aware of the potential dangers of the subject, did their best to veil what they were writing about even as they exploited its appeal.
A brilliant, witty, and revelatory book that restores an age-old literary tradition to its rightful place in our cultural history.
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