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Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture 1668-1801

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Where previous historians have concluded that a combination of censorship and ignorance excluded lesbian experience from written history before our era, Emma Donoghue has decisively proved otherwise. She dispels the myth that seventeenth- and eighteenth-century lesbian culture was rarely registered in language and that lesbians of this period had no words with which to ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 28th 1996 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1993)
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Kathleen
Sep 22, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
I do love Emma Donoghue's fiction. I think her short stories are well-crafted and her novels intelligent and warm, and she tends to include queer characters who are just queer without centering the story on their queerness, a thing I always love. So naturally when I saw that she'd written a book on queer women's literature in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain, I was there.

It did not disappoint.

Donoghue covers a broad range of topics, from sex between women to romantic friendship, from w
...more
Simona Vesela
Aug 18, 2016 Simona Vesela rated it it was amazing
This is the first book on queer history I have ever read. Some of the sources presented were truly bizarre. The various real or fictitious setting described were fascinating. I cannot imagine how the "female husband" trick would work today, IDK maybe some couples could pull it off (of course ignoring IDs and birth certificates) :D
Every time I wished to pause reading this I had to find some account which either ended well or at least wasn't depressing and/or tragic...which sometimes took a good
...more
Elaine Burnes
Aug 12, 2016 Elaine Burnes rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesbian, nonfiction
Blurb: In the tradition of Lillian Faderman's Surpassing the Love of Men and John Boswell's Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe--a groundbreaking work of lesbian scholarship that presents a revisionist and frankly sexual look at 18th-century lesbian culture.

Ironic that she debunks many of Faderman's conclusions about the visibility of lesbianism before the late 1800s. She also debunks the still-used myth that the words lesbian and sapphic were not used to describe homosexual women until the late
...more
Alice
Aug 18, 2013 Alice rated it liked it
Three stars not really for faults of Emma Donoghue, I guess. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as Faderman's book (although Donoghue's, which was published 12 years later, makes some interesting corrections). I mean, when you're looking at lesbian history, a lot of what you have is condemnatory texts by men, which are at least valuable in terms of knowing that lesbianism *existed,* but they're still kind of a bummer. Faderman's text talked much more about woman-sourced writing and thereby had ...more
Elizabeth
Jul 02, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, college
I read about 2/3 of this book for a research paper. I found it very useful, especially since it had extensive footnotes that allowed me to use this as a springboard for other sources. Enjoyable and rather easy to read, even if it is academic. I didn't agree with all that the author wrote, but she provided interesting thoughts to dwell upon.
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luscious
... And enter the protagonists of Donoghue's "Life Mask" on pp.145-148.
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Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of ...more
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