The Love Letters of Radclyffe Hall
Nyu Press, Hardcover, 9780814730928, 320pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 1997
"Passionate and revealing love letters from the iconic lesbian novelist . . . Radclyffe Hall is getting a fresh look. . . . Glasgow has chosen these letters well and provides helpful context."
"Many assumptions have been made about the degree to which Radclyffe Hall's lesbian classic, "The Well of Loneliness," may be autobiographical. Your John dismisses such notions. This exhaustive collection of letters written between 1934 and 1942 to Evguenia Souline, a White Russian emigre with whom Hall fell deeply in love are detailed, intimate records of Hall's personal life and convictions. . . . the collection is a heart-wrenching record of how politics, money, and geography converged to undermine these women's dreams."
This landmark book represents the first publication of original writing by Radclyffe Hall, author of "The Well of Loneliness," in over 50 years.
One of the most famous and influential lesbian novelists of the twentieth century, Hall became a cause clbre in 1928, upon the publication of her novel "The Well of Loneliness," when the British government brought action on behalf of the Crown to declare the book obscene. Probably the most widely read lesbian novel ever written, the book has been continuously in print since its first publication and remains to this day an important part of the literary landscape.
Expertly deciphered and edited by Hall scholar and biographer Joanne Glasgow, Your John is a selection of Hall's love letters to Evguenia Souline, a White Russian emigre with whom Hall fell completely and passionately in love in the summer of 1934. Written between this first meeting and the onset of Hall's last illness in 1942, these letters detail Hall's growing obsession, the pain to her life partner Una Troubridge of this betrayal, and the poignant hopelessness of a happy resolution for any of the three women. It was ultimately this relationship, Glasgow argues, which tragically precipitated the decline in Hall's creative work and her health. The letters also provide important new information about her views on lesbianism and take us well beyond the artistic limits she imposed on the characters in "The Well of Loneliness." They shed light on her views on religion, politics, war, and the literary and artistic scene. Illuminating both the nature of her relationships and her views on the current politics of the time, Your John will greatly extend the range of our knowledge about Radclyffe Hall.