This and the successor volumes in this series provides a historical view of how and what several important novelists were writing about these subjects in the past by making a number of these novels available inexpensively in a single place. A modern reader may consider them rather tame if they are to be judged by modern standards. Nonetheless, the novels are illuminating, especially when subjected to a careful reading.
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This volume contains the following works:
- The Poems of Sappho, by Sappho
- The Night Horseman, by Max Brand
- Allan’s Wife, by H. Rider Haggard
- The Deemster, by Hall Caine
- The Getting of Wisdom, by Henry Handel Richardson
- Women in Love, by D. H. Lawrence
The collection and its successors is a combination of two factors: the rapidly changing social climate for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals in the United States, and the availability of a book published by Marion Zimmer Bradley entitled Checklist that was written in 1960. The existence of the changing social climate needs no further discussion to inform the conscious reader. She is the author of a number of books in considerably different genres: gay and lesbian fiction that were published in the early and middle 1960’s when these works were generally considered pornographic.
In 1960, she wrote Checklist. She states in her introductory remarks:
“Here, in a single volume, it has been our intention to list, document and review every novel dealing, however slightly, with female variance, lesbianism or intense emotional relationships between women. We have also included a majority of the better known novels which, dealing primarily with male homosexuality, are of interest to the collector of variant fiction in general.”