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The Well of Loneliness - Radcliff Hall

The Well has been my favorite book since the first time I read it while studying Queer history, literature and art. It's special to me for a few reasons, namely because it acts as an artifact of struggle for many queer/homo/aesthetes from the Edwardian and Victorian era England. But also, it was either out right banned in many places for being explicit about the lives of people deemed "morally ambiguous."

While Hall was facing legal challenges against The Well for spreading homosexual propaganda, the editor of New York's Sunday Express wrote "I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a vial of acid than this novel"

So what was the big deal? What's the book about? Really just the life of a woman, who knows immediately that she's not meant to play the fair lady. The novel documents her transition from adolescences through the trails of being a Victorian era woman who cross dresses (not as a man, I should say) and falls in love with another woman, but with all the complexities that relationships bring to your life, and the intricacies and complications that friendships bring, mixed with the subtle agony we never let go of when our dreams lay unfulfilled. It's a lovely and complex book, I've read it twice and still think about it often.

I imagine my drop cap to be the letter "R" for Radcliff Hall, but also it is the first name of Stephen's (the protagonist) horse Raftery.... So I'll start from there

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