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Fashioning Sapphism : The Origins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture - Laura Doan

Fashioning Sapphism

The Origins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture

Paperback Published: 13th December 2000
ISBN: 9780231110075
Number Of Pages: 288
For Ages: 22+ years old

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The highly publicized obscenity trial of Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" (1928) is generally recognized as the crystallizing moment in the construction of a visible modern English lesbian culture, marking a great divide between innocence and deviance, private and public, New Woman and Modern Lesbian. Yet despite unreserved agreement on the importance of this cultural moment, previous studies often reductively distort our reading of the formation of early twentieth-century lesbian identity, either by neglecting to examine in detail the developments leading up to the ban or by framing events in too broad a context against other cultural phenomena.

"Fashioning Sapphism" locates the novelist Radclyffe Hall and other prominent lesbians -- including the pioneer in women's policing, Mary Allen, the artist Gluck, and the writer Bryher -- within English modernity through the multiple sites of law, sexology, fashion, and literary and visual representation, thus tracing the emergence of a modern English lesbian subculture in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Drawing on extensive new archival research, the book interrogates anew a range of myths long accepted without question (and still in circulation) concerning, to cite only a few, the extent of homophobia in the 1920s, the strategic deployment of sexology against sexual minorities, and the rigidity of certain cultural codes to denote lesbianism in public culture.

Industry Reviews

A fine contribution to the growing body of scholarship on the history of lesbian lives, and the image of lesbians in modern society. -- Juliet Sarkessian Lambda Book Report

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: "It's Hard to Tell Them Apart Today"p. xi
The Mythic Moral Panic: Radclyffe Hall and the New Genealogyp. 1
"That Nameless Vice Between Women": Lesbianism and the Lawp. 31
Outraging the Decencies of Nature? Uniformed Female Bodiesp. 64
Passing Fashions: Reading Female Masculinities in the 1920sp. 95
Lesbian Writers and Sexual Science: A Passage to Modernity?p. 126
Portrait of a Sapphist? Fixing the Frame of Referencep. 164
Notesp. 195
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231110075
ISBN-10: 0231110073
Series: Between Men-Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 13th December 2000
Publisher: COLUMBIA UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.47

Earn 92 Qantas Points
on this Book