The Lesbian Pillow Book

Both a personal pleasure and an historical resource, this unusually wide-ranging and highly individual collection traces the teasingly elusive figure of ‘the lesbian’ down the centuries from the ancient world to today.

Lesbians appear in fact – via letters and diaries, trial transcripts and epitaphs, medical pamphlets, and case histories; and in fiction – through fables and songs, poems and stories, by both men and women (Sappho and Swindburne, Emma Donoghue and Charles Dickens). From a kaleidoscopic array of astrological curiosities, marriage resisters, female husbands, bluestockings, runaways, pioneers and menaces, not to mention revolutionaries, gardeners and neglected murderesses, the phenomenon we know as the lesbian begins to emerge.

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