Radclyffe Hall: The Well of Loneliness (2837 words)


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The Well of Loneliness, first published in 1928, was the fifth novel by Radclyffe Hall. Her first two novels, The Forge (1924) and The Unlit Lamp (1924), both explored the issue of relationships between women, but The Well of Loneliness was the first to explicitly address the concept of female sexual inversion. The novel was intended to be a plea for social toleration on behalf of sexual inverts and Radclyffe Hall informed her publisher: “I am proud indeed to have taken up my pen in defence of those who are utterly defenceless, who being from birth a people set apart in accordance with some hidden scheme of Nature, need all the help that society can give them” (Souhami, 167-8). At the time of …

Citation: Jennings, Rebecca. "The Well of Loneliness". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 June 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8122, accessed 09 August 2022.]

8122 The Well of Loneliness 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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