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Noel Coward & Radclyffe Hall: Kindred Spirits Paperback – June, 1996

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In her landmark study, The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture, Terry Castle called on feminist and lesbian historians to "focus on presence instead of absence, plenitude instead of scarcity." Her binary portrait of Noel Coward and Radclyffe Hall traces the friendship and compares the public perceptions of these two homosexual icons of the 1930s. Castle suggests that these two very different writers influenced each other's work in surprising ways. The homosexual playwright, Jonathan Brockett, who appears in Hall's lesbian classic The Well of Loneliness, bears a striking resemblance to Coward. The blithe spirit that hovers over Coward's play of the same name may have had its genesis in Hall's ideas and writings about the supernatural. This well illustrated book also shows that Hall and Coward shared a fashion sense. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Glasgow (coeditor of Lesbian Texts and Contexts, New York University, 1990) has collected the revealing letters written by Radclyffe Hall?best known for her groundbreaking novel of lesbian love, The Well of Loneliness (1928)?to Evguenia Souline. Dating from their first meeting (1934) to the last year of Hall's life (1942), the letters chronicle the two women's affair, doomed because Hall refused to leave Una Troubridge, her lover of 19 years. The letters expose Hall's obsessive need to control (she gave Souline an allowance but dictated how the money would be spent), her conservative political views, her anti-Semitism, and her belief that homosexuality is an inborn rather than a learned trait. Castle's (The Apparitional Lesbian, LJ 11/1/93) volume explores the literary friendship of Hall and Noel Coward. Castle argues that Hall and Coward influenced each other's writings to the extent that "ghosts" of each appeared in the other's novels: Noel Coward as Jonathan Brockert in The Well, and Hall, Troubridge, and Souline as the heterosexual triangle in Blythe Spirit. While Castle's argument is convincing, the most interesting contribution of her book is her exploration of the relationships between gay men and lesbians in the first half of 20th-century Europe. Both books, especially Your John for its primary material, are recommended for all academic and large public libraries and all libraries with gay/lesbian collections.?Melodie Frances, Univ. of San Francisco Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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