The Well of Loneliness

19720901-10Recently issued in paperback by Corgi (at 50p) is The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, a considerably autobiographical novel of Lesbian life and loves. Though banned in 1928 when first published, the book in fact contains not one ‘obscene’ word, and any sexual encounters are coyly couched in the vaguest terms. The reason for the ban appears to have been not so much because of its subject matter but for the sympathetic treatment afforded it.

Though rather over romanticised and trite in parts, it still has a certain amount of nostalgic charm and compulsion. Dealing as it does with female, not male homosexuality, it is more concerned with social rather than legal prejudice. It also shows with abundant clarity how little the homosexual has been accepted by and integrated into society, in spite of the not inconsiderable changes of attitudes towards sex education and behaviour in general over the past few decades.

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