On the Shelf February 2019

On the Shelf February 2019 on The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast with Heather Rose Jones, your monthly update on what the Lesbian Historic Motif Project has been doing.

Episode 31a

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Transcript

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[Music] this is Heather Rose Jones with The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast this weekly podcast looks at lesbian themes in history and literature and historic research into gender and sexuality we talk about current historical fiction with queer female characters including fantastic versions of the past and have interviews with authors who write those stories and in months when we have a fifth show we’re proud to present new original lesbian historical fiction for your enjoyment welcome to on the shelf for February 2019 all sorts of fun things are coming up on the horizon for the podcast I have three interviews scheduled to record and another five in discussions when I have them in hand I’ll let you know who and when but I don’t like to jinx things before the recording happens one big thing I’ve started on relating to the interview shows is that I’m commissioning transcripts of all the past interviews and will eventually work up to getting interviewed transcripts up fairly soon after the error at the moment I don’t have any interviews in the can for this month so you’ll get more surprise content which is another way of saying I’ll see what I can come up with on the fly maybe I’ll do a list of some of my favorite lesbian historical movies there more of them out there that you might think if you’re a fan of historical fiction and would love to come on the show to talk about some of your favorite books drop me an email and we can set something up by the time this show airs the submission period for the 2019 fiction series will have closed but at the time I’m recording this I honestly have no idea what they’re I’ll have enough submissions to actually run the series this year maybe I’ll get a ton of stories submitted in the last couple days maybe just a couple that people have said they’re planning to send in maybe I’ll get enough great stories to fill the series maybe I won’t by the time you hear this you’ll already know the answer if you read the blog I consistent expected there’d be more interest in enthusiasm in the second year no matter how things go with this year’s series I don’t think I’ll be doing it again in 2020 which is a shame because I’d hope to provide a new venue for publishing lesbian historical short fiction but a publishing venue doesn’t do much good if no one sends their work in for consideration on the blog I’ve been continuing to work through some somatic groups of articles from the journal of the history of sexuality with a few other random items January focused on articles covering sixteenth and seventeenth-century topics including a fascinating study of a genderqueer person in colonial Virginia that sheds light on how ordinary people understood gender identity and sexuality in February I’m tackling a collection of articles about the late 19th century field of sexology and the supposed invention of homosexuality by sight apologists I confess it’s an era and a topic that makes me impatient because too often that particular era in the medicalization of sexuality and gender identity gets misinterpreted as demonstrating that there was no such thing as same-sex love before people like craft epic wrote their books about it so if a bit of my impatient shows through in my summaries you’ll understand why the only new book purchased for the blog this month was my very own copy of della Revere Manley’s the New Atlantis in support of last week’s podcast with readings from the text what did you think of Manley’s depictions satiric though it may have been of a secret sapphic society in early eighteenth-century England for this month’s podcast essay I think I’m ready to begin tackling the delicate topic of the historic intersection of themes of female homoeroticism and trans masculinity it’s a complicated and broad subject for this first installment I’ll be tackling some basic approaches to unpacking our cultural assumptions about gender and sexuality categories so we can think and talk about historic categories in an open-minded way lesbian historical fiction has a bit of an unfortunate history of erasing or ignoring trans possibilities in large part because we’re wedded to concepts of gender and sexuality that are rooted in our specific cultural context to address the issues around trans masculinity in lesbian historicals in a meaningful way we need to take a close look at the historic relationship between how people in the past understood gender and how they understood sexual orientation I’m going to have a lot of fun in this first essay although with a very serious purpose because I’m going to start by taking you on a tour through the semantics of prepositions the topic of my doctoral dissertation the lesbian talk-show relies on support the support of you our listeners the support of those who like and review our show on their favorite podcast app the support of our patrons on patreon and the support of our sponsors we hope you’ll continue to enjoy and support the lesbian talk-show and now for the new and recent releases of lesbian relevant historical fiction the first few books all have a prominent element of fantasy in their history running wild by laurel clark published through amazon digital is subtitled a steamy lesbian romance in ancient Greece so you can probably assume you get what it says on the label here’s the blurb in ancient Greece women didn’t leave the homes of their male relatives they don’t become physicians and they certainly don’t fall for other women but Malita is breaking all the rules she didn’t set out to get thrown out of her brother’s house or meet a troop of naughty lions she definitely never expected to profane Reese 1/2 nayad half human woman who has a bad habit of not wearing clothes and now Reese just won’t get out of her head all Aleta ever wanted was a career as a village doctor in a normal life but things are changing now the only thing she seems to want his reefs breaking mais curse and I’m sorry if I’ve mispronounced the character’s name it could be May it could be my I’m gonna go with May breaking Mays curse self-published by Amy demerit may have only tangential historic content it’s hard to tell from the blurb what happens when a lesbian samurai refuses to marry the king he kills her lover and then orders his sorceress to cursor to immortality as a 5 inch tall woman of course fast forward about 600 years May’s planned to try to meet a beautiful woman backfires and instead she befriends a young IT nerd who is all too excited to try to help her break her curse which requires a woman to fall in love with her can a 5 inch tall lesbian samurai find love can Mays curse be broken or will the enemies of her past come back to destroy everything this could be either really fun or really bizarre salsa verde biiian Weaver from novel Weaver press sounds like the sort of crosstime parallel live story that pops up regularly and lesbian fiction souls of Veridian is a tale of love and courage a journey of possibilities and a dream of expansive horizons a 15th century Italian child of a secret healer a young Parisian woman and her father at the dawn of revolutionary France a lesbian artist in her partner living in 21st century America a modern middle-aged widow searching for answers after her husband’s death and an apparition from an otherworldly dimension what could they possibly have in common what could it all mean Widow a Rachel panini wants answers especially as dreams and hallucinations of an odd child plagued her life artist Rita Koerner wants answers – to unlock the mystery of the strange portrait she paints but they don’t know each other nor do they know what they have in common or what fantastical phenomenon awaits them if they meet a harvest of sisters self-published by Emma Baden sounds like an interesting slice of life stories at an early 20th century England on holiday with her parents in Cornwall 16 year old Jessica Bradley falls in love with Elizabeth Driscoll thick during the summer of 1931 through the remains of the decade she experiences loss and love gives birth to a daughter eventually finding happiness a lifelong partner and becoming part of a group of women who form an art school in London before World War Two a story of independent women with a vision of equality and a refusal to commit to convention the arrival of lady Sethe mere self published by Colley valances is a bite-sized novelette with a nebulous late eighteenth or nineteenth century setting I’ve reviewed it on my blog if you’re interested all Lavina wants is to quietly marry a man who will allow her to continue her current affair with the beautiful lady georgia south mirror but with lady southmere herself objecting to any marriage and with lady south mares husband pursuing Lavina for himself it’s easier said than done ken Lavina balanced the men and women in her life or will she end up losing her reputation or worse her lover the plan by kim critical from sapphire books sounds like a classic tale of girls from opposite sides the tracks as the dark days of the Dust Bowl come to an end the midsection of the United States tried to rebuild and revitalize in the small dusty farming town of brookview Colorado teenager Elinor Landry and her mother were dealing with her father a self-appointed fire and brimstone preacher to his congregation of two a plan to survive as the dark era of the robber baron comes to an end giants of industry and innovation emerged with fabulous fortunes manifested in the mansions that dotted the landscape across the country Lisette Landon the teen daughter of the wealthiest family in brookview was everything a good proper girl of privilege should be only problem was she wasn’t dreaming of finding a young man to raise a family with a plan to be free one look one touch all plans are off secrets deeper and darker than the grave would bring Eleanor and Lisette together their families connected by a web of lies and broken promises a plan to escape but be careful because life has other plans acts of contrition is the fourth book in the passing rights saga by Elena Groff from purple hand press be aware that this series has some very intense content including depictions of rape and sexual violence as well as the aftermath of war World War two has finally come to an end and Berlin has fallen nearly everything margarita chief of staff of st. Hilda’s Hospital and head of the aristocratic Chautala family has sworn to protect has been lost after being brutally abused by occupying Russian soldiers in her own Hospital margretta must rely on the kindness of her friends to survive fortunately the American Army has brought her former Protege dr. Sara Weber back to Berlin as Margaret confronts painful events that occurred during the war she must learn both to forgive and be forgiven this is the fourth novel in the passing rights series which follows the aristocratic Chautala family through the 20th century said in Berlin during the aftermath of world war two acts of contrition shows how survivors struggled with their guilt over the events of the war it tells the story of how rape crushing personal losses and grief can bring someone to the brink and how friendship and love can bring her back manifold press is putting out Valentine’s anthology rainbow bouquet with a range of stories of queer love in the past present and future at this time I don’t know what the extent of the lesbian content might be at some point this year I’ll be doing an interview with the new editor of manifold press to talk about her plans and vision from the publishing house figuring by Maria Popova from Pantheon is a nonfiction book with a description that reads almost like a historic novel and so might be of interest to my listeners figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler who discovered the laws of planetary motion and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson who catalyzed the environmental movement stretching between these figures is a cast of artists writers and scientists mostly women mostly queer whose public contributions have risen out of their unclassifiable and often heartbreaking private relationships to change the way we understand experience and appreciate the universe among them are the astronomer Maria Mitchell who paved the way for women in science the sculptor Harriet Hosmer who did the same in art the journalist and literary critic Margaret Fuller who sparked the feminist movement and the poet Emily Dickinson emanating from these lives our larger questions about the measure of a good life and what it means to leave a lasting mark of betterment on an imperfect world our achievement and acclaim enough for happiness is genius is love weaving through the narrative is a set of peripheral figures Ralph Waldo Emerson Charles Darwin Elizabeth Barrett Browning Herman Melville Frederick Douglass Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman and a tapestry of themes spanning music feminism the history of science the rise and decline of religion and how the intersection of astronomy poetry and transcendentalist philosophy fomented the environmental movement if you know of any forthcoming lesbian relevant historical fiction including historic fantasy and similar genres drop the podcast a note to make sure we have a chance to include it I’d love to continue doing the ask Sappho bit in the show sir questions or explore topics that are too brief for a show of their own but it only happens if people send me questions or requests if you like what you hear on this show drop us a note and let us know and get your personally tailored information on lesbian history and historic literature I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the lesbian historic motif podcast if you want to follow up on anything we’ve covered see the show notes for links and to contact me with questions book announcements or topic suggestions if you enjoyed this podcast please read it and subscribe on iTunes stitcher or pod bean and consider supporting our patreon and if you’re on Facebook check out the lesbian talk show chat group [Music]