Radclyffe Hall: A Life in Writing




Central PR6015 A33 Z5 DB27


Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. With kind permission http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14846.html


Marguerite Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943), known as Radclyffe, thought of herself from an early age as a ‘masculine female’. Probably dyslexic, and not really an intellectual, she did spend a lot of time studying the idea of self, especially in relation to her cross-gender existence. Hall’s attitude to ‘selfhood’ pervaded all her writing. In 1928, her most famous novel, The Well of Loneliness, was published. The story follows the hero/ine, Stephen Gordon, a ‘sexual invert’, a woman who dresses as a man and pursues an intimate relationship with a woman. Famously, the last line of the novel reads: ‘Give us also the right to our existence’. The novel was part of the nascent ‘enterprise of developing a lesbian public culture’ (Dellamora, 2011). The book was promptly banned. Pictured on the cover is Hall with her long-term partner, Una Troubridge (1887-1963).


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Richard Dellamora, “Radclyffe Hall: A Life in Writing,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed September 25, 2023, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/11318.