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  • Ilex Press

The Love That Dares

Rachel Smith, Barbara Vesey

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Diaries, letters & journals

An intimate and inspiring collection of letters revealing some of the greatest queer love stories in history

A good love letter can speak across centuries, and reassure us that the agony and the ecstasy one might feel in the 21st century have been shared by lovers long gone. This is all the more true of LGBTQ+ love letters: love affairs and relationships that, until very recently, had to survive within sealed envelopes and behind closed doors.

In The Love That Dares, queer love speaks its name through the words of lovers from years gone by. Alongside the more famous names, the Woolfs and the Wildes, coexist beautifully written letters by lesser-known lovers, giving us an insight into queer love outside of the spotlight of fame or fortune. These letters give us a glimpse into the passion and courage it took to continue a gay relationship in times when it was at best improper, and at worst illegal. Enlightening introductions to each set of letters give readers an idea of the historical context in which they were written.

Including letters written by:
John Cage
Gertrude Stein
Audre Lorde
Benjamin Britten
Lorraine Hansberry
Walt Whitman
Vita Sackville-West
Oscar Wilde
Radclyffe Hall
Allen Ginsberg
Sylvia Townsend Warner

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Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith is an archivist at the Bishopsgate archive in London, which houses the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA).

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