The Well of Loneliness is a 1928 lesbian novel by the British author
Radclyffe Hall that follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman
from an upper-class family. Her “sexual inversion” (homosexuality) is
apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, whom she
meets while serving as an ambulance driver in World War I, but their
happiness together is marred by social isolation and rejection. The
novel portrays inversion as a natural, God-given state and makes an
explicit plea: “Give us also the right to our existence”. Although its
only sexual reference consists of the words “and that night, they were
not divided”, a British court judged it obscene because it defended
“unnatural practices between women”. In the United States the book
survived legal challenges. Publicity over The Well’s legal battles
increased the visibility of lesbians in British and American culture.
Gordon’s expressions of self-hatred have been faulted for inspiring
shame, but the book was for decades the best-known lesbian novel in
English, and often the first source of information about lesbianism that
young people could find.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
The thirteen Stratford Martyrs were burned at the stake near
London for their Protestant beliefs.
American Civil War: Union Army General William T. Sherman’s
frontal assault against the Army of Tennessee failed, but that did not
stop Sherman’s advance on Atlanta.
The crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin began a mutiny
against their oppressive officers.
Prime Minister of Japan Tanaka Giichi led a conference to
discuss Japan’s plans for China, out of which came the Tanaka Memorial,
a strategic document detailing these plans (now believed to be a
As a result of an ongoing conflict between drug dealers and
police in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, a large military and civil
police operation killed 19 people and injured several others.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. Somebody who is forced to stand, for example, on a crowded bus.
2. A free-standing, rigid print (usually life-sized), for instance of a
celebrity, often displayed for advertising and promotional purposes; a
Wikiquote quote of the day:
If there is anything worthwhile doing for the sake of culture,
then it is touching on subject matters and situations which link people,
and not those that divide people. There are too many things in the world
which divide people, such as religion, politics, history, and
nationalism. If culture is capable of anything, then it is finding that
which unites us all. And there are so many things which unite people. It
doesn’t matter who you are or who I am, if your tooth aches or mine,
it’s still the same pain. Feelings are what link people together,
because the word “love” has the same meaning for everybody. Or “fear”,
or “suffering”. We all fear the same way and the same things. And we all
love in the same way. That’s why I tell about these things, because in
all other things I immediately find division.
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