On the Shelf for June 2019

This episode of The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast with Heather Rose Jones is On the Shelf for June 2019. Your monthly update on what the Lesbian Historic Motif Project has been doing.

Episode 35a

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Transcript

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[Music] this is Heather Rose Jones with a 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 June 2019 it’s been a busy month for me what was giving a paper on cross-dressing women at the International medieval Congress in Kalamazoo and then finishing up the month that baked on the local science fiction and fantasy convention but all my immediate project deadlines are complete and I can relax a bit in June and July next month I plan to start seriously plugging the 2020 fiction series for the podcast I want people to make it as hard as possible for me to choose just four stories to publish by inundating me with great lesbian historical short fiction so this time I’ll be reminding folks on a regular basis just keep in mind that submissions still won’t be open to send them in until January but that gives you a lot of time to brainstorm and then polish up your best ideas so what’s the blog been doing lately I started out May by finishing up the last couple articles from the journal of the history of sexuality one of them on love magic and Coptic Egypt that has only tangential references to the use of love magic for same-sex relationships and the other unform alized cross gender roles in the Balkans may finished up with a couple of source books presenting texts from a variety of genres the first a rainbow thread an anthology of queer Jewish texts from the first century to 1969 was a bit disappointing as it had relatively little lesbian relevant material and most of what it did have was not that different from non-jewish texts of similar eras but the second source book is one I recommend highly same-sex desire in early modern England 1550 to 1735 for June I’m tackling some publications that have been getting kicked down the road for a while for various reasons precious and adored is a critical edition of the correspondence between Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple around the turn of the 20th century tracing the ups and downs of their romantic relationship I’ll also be covering the new bilingual edition of the medieval romance of Ada and olive and finally working my way through a French article on medieval cross-dressing romances from the Journal of the history of sexuality if it arrives in time I may complete the theme with the discussion of the cross-dressing themes in another medieval French Romance åkesson and Nicolette since I’ll be expanding the cross-dressing paper I gave at Kalamazoo for publication I have a number of publications that I’ll be prioritizing for that purpose new books acquired for the blog are primarily from the academic presses that exhibit at the medieval Congress there are a couple interesting articles in the collection illicit sex identity politics in early modern culture edited by Thomas de Piero and Pat Gill I’ve turned up another collection of articles on single women the single woman in medieval and early modern England her life and representation edited by Laura lamb tower and Dorothea Caylor the field of single women’s studies is extremely relevant to my project as it explores lives outside the marriage economy and thus normalizes the lives of women who might choose not to marry for reasons of sexual preference Victoria Bloods book the unspeakable gender and sexuality in medieval literature 1000 to 1400 is generally about the intersection of language and the concepts of gender and sex but it includes a chapter on the unspeakable sin that includes discussion of female sodomy just yesterday I received a couple books that my girlfriend spotted in the Kalamazoo Book Room but that I didn’t get a chance to buy there like man like woman is about gender roles in classical Rome and Knights riddles and cross-dressing Saints looks like it has some useful discussion of cross-dressing motifs in medieval literature so all of that should keep me going for a while although some of the books themselves are still in transit I’ve gotten into the habit of having my Kalamazoo purchases shipped not simply to save space in my luggage but because it’s like getting presents at random intervals for the next month this month’s podcast guest will be an that Clutterbuck cook Anna is a librarian and a reader of queer fiction we ended up spending two podcasts talking about a wide range of topics around her favorite books the book she wants to read but can’t find by dynamics of queer fiction communities and all sort of other things for this month’s essay I’m planning on combining a multi-person review of the new Emily Dickinson movie wild nights with M and a discussion of how and why Emily Dickinson has become a point of contention around topics of sexuality and the most podcasts we’ll finish up with our second audio short story at the beginning of the year I pledged myself that I’d get the fiction all recorded and set up far in advance this time pledge that I haven’t managed to keep at this point so the choice of which story I’ll be broadcasting is partly going to depend on which one I can make arrangements to record in time but maybe this means I’ll get them all recorded and fulfill part of my pledge after all 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 we come to recent and forthcoming lesbian historical fiction only five titles this month and only three of them are June books tipping back to April we have Clio rising by Paula Martynyuk from Bywater books this one uses the popular historic research motif to explore the lesbian salons of 1920s Paris in 1983 Livy bliss leaves Western North Carolina for New York City armed with a degree in English and a small cushion of cash from a favorite aunt her goal is to launch a career in publishing but more important to live openly as a lesbian a rough start makes Livi thinks she should give up and head home but then a new friend helps her land a job at a literary agency run by the formidable Beebe Winston he hopes Livi’s southern charm and boyish good looks will help her bond with one of the agency’s most illustrious clients the cranky modernist writer Cleo Hart a closeted octogenarian lesbian of the Paris lost generation who has rarely left her Greenwich Village apartment in four decades when Livi becomes Cleo’s gofer and companion the plan looks like it’s working the two connect around their shared carolina heritage and their report gives cleo support and inspiration to think about publishing again but something isn’t quite right with Cleo’s writing and as Livi learns more Theo’s relationship with playwright flora Haynes uncomfortable parallels begin to emerge between Livi’s own circle of friends and the drama-filled world of expatriate artists in the 1920s in Cleo’s final days the writer shares a secret that could upend Livius life and the literary establishment another early 20th century story came out in May the rhythm of the tide a lesbian romance self-published by Lea curling I confess I’m conflicted about book titles that feel they have to explicitly tell readers hey this is a lesbian story on the one hand it makes it easier to figure out whether they’re relevant to the podcast but on the other hand it always feels like maybe you could just indicate that in the cover copy London 1913 after bombing the prime minister’s house suffragette Natalie Petrov is chased by the police she is rescued by Liddy Thompson an aristocratic doctor who offers her way out Natalie will stay at the Thompson’s country house for six months until their name vanishes from the most-wanted list she agrees to work as a maid for Lady Thompson’s daughter Elizabeth a cold and distant socialite who doesn’t know Natalie’s true identity however the test becomes progressively harder as Natalie finds herself attracted to her mistress the June books start with another early 20th century story an impossible distance to fall by Miriam McNamara from Sky pony press its 1930 and Bertie Williams life has crashed along with the stock market her father’s bank has failed and worse he’s disappeared along with his Jenny biplane when Bertie sees a leaflet for a barnstorming circus with a picture of dad’s plane on it she goes to Coney Island in search of answers the barnstorming circus has lady pilots daredevil stuntman fire spinners of wing walkers and birdie is instantly enchanted especially with a girl pilot named June birdie doesn’t find her father but after stumbling across clues that suggests he’s gone to Chicago she figures she’ll hitch a ride with the Traveling Circus doing what she does best putting on a convincing act and insisting on being the star of the show but the overconfidence the meter belle of the ball during her enchanted youth turns out to be far too reckless without the safety her charmed childhood and a couple of impulsive missteps sent her and her newfound community spinning into freefall mainstream publishing offers us a highly anticipated book in Olivia awaits a lady’s guide to celestial mechanics feminine pursuits from Avon impulse this Regency era romance looks like it was designed to hit all my sweet spots as Lucy Mitchell nee watches her ex-lovers sham of a wedding she wishes herself anywhere else it isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of mauve looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text that she knows where to go showing up at the countess’s London home she hoped for a challenge not a woman who takes her breath away Catherine st. Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood what’s her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled she expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project instead she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door begging to be allowed to do the work as she agrees to let Lucy stay but as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy everything she believes about herself and her life is tested while Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine but sabotage and old wounds threatened to sever the threads that bind them can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers Jen the blocks Luisa Trumble family saga a book eight from illustrated romance is another Regency story the book description includes a Content warning for sexual assault when Ellie and Lu fall in love it is with great abandon and they have brand ideas a small cottage a garden a goat to manage the weeds sheep for Walt in it but the truth of the matter lies in the reality Louisa must marry to the satisfaction of her father and so must Ellie whose family hopes for a title to add legitimacy to their status opening doors in the Tong and when Louisans father discovers them together nothing can ever be the same a friend rescues Louisa from a horrible fate sending her into hiding for her own protection for three long years Louisa remains in exile out of fear of what her father could do necessity returns Louisa to London and as soon as she does the memories of her beautiful Ellie hunter but Louisa has no idea if Ellie is even here or unmarried or still and Wanda Ferraz Louisa is and has been since the first moment she saw her across the shimmering ballroom Louisa fears discovering the truth of it all that she was been passing fancy bored of the excitement of the heats of a first season will she find Ellie well the woman still want her and even if so what can they do now that they couldn’t do before nothing has changed but everything is different and what have I been reading in the last month in the realm of lesbian historical fiction I enjoyed proper English by KJ Charles a short Edwardians country house murder mystery layered in with a bit of romance if you enjoy seeing awful people get their just desserts in a murder mystery this should be right up your alley there are no questions for the asks fo segment this month remember that you can send in questions about queer women in history for a quick answer on the podcast and that’s the show for June 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 rate 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]

Sheena

Sheena is the founder of TheLesbianReview.com She has always loved interviewing people and chatting about interesting topics. Now she has started some podcasts which she hopes you enjoy.