The Well of Loneliness, Paperback

The Well of Loneliness Paperback

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'As a man loved a woman, that was how I loved...It was good, good, good...' Stephen is an ideal child of aristocratic parents - a fencer, a horse rider and a keen scholar.

Stephen grows to be a war hero, a bestselling writer and a loyal, protective lover.

But Stephen is a woman, and her lovers are women. As her ambitions drive her, and society confines her, Stephen is forced into desperate actions.

The Well of Loneliness was banned for obscenity when published in 1928.

It became an international bestseller, and for decades was the single most famous lesbian novel.

It has influenced how love between women is understood, for the twentieth century and beyond.



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I read this and Rubyfruit Jungle the same weekend. I was 14 and I'd bought them sleathily from the "feminist" bookstore on Chapel Street in New Haven. (I wish I could remember the name of that bookstore. The Golden Something.) And Rubyfruit Jungle seemed like the world that was possible but The Well of Loneliness was a world I could only dream about. I guess I'm due to re-read it. I re-read it as an undergraduate and thought clever queer-studies thoughts about it, but I've forgotten all that now and I just remember being a teenager dreaming about changing my name to Stephen and being British.

Review by

There are lots of reasons not to like 'the first lesbian novel'. The take home message of 'she knew her girlfriend would be better with a Real Man, who could marry her and give her babies, so she lied to make her leave her' is never going to win over all the audience. And it is of its time, with all the implicit racism and classism you'd expect.That out of the way, I adore this book. There is something about it that just sings true to me - what it says about love, and the beauty of the world, and how people cope with being different. A book that manages to capture how terribly cruel and awful the world can be to people, and yet also captures moments of pure joy, and about how the honourable person continues in the world we are in.

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