Known as the “Matchless Orinda,” Katherine Philips (1631/2 – 1664; née Fowler) was the author of the first English-language play written by a woman to be performed on the professional stage and she may also have been the first published lesbian poet in the English language; this seems to be a love poem from her to fellow poet Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, whose pseudonym was Ardelia.
This introduction to Katherine Philips’ life and work is adapted from Killing the Angel: Early Transgressive British Woman Writers by Francis Booth ©2021, reprinted by permission. Read More→
Frances V. Rummell, an American writer and educator, published Diana: A Strange Autobiography (1939) under the pseudonym Diana Frederics. More of an autobiographical novel than an actual memoir, nonetheless draws upon the author’s life. The story details the title heroine’s discovery of her lesbian sexuality.
Positive portrayal of lesbians was considered shocking when the book was published. It’s now considered groundbreaking as one of the first works of gay fiction to have a happy outcome.
Published squarely between The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928) and the lesbian pulp novels that emerged in the early 1950s, Diana is a worthy, yet often overlooked addition to the genre. This analysis and appreciation is excerpted from Girls in Bloom by Francis Booth, reprinted by permission: Read More→