Aphra Behn(ca 1640-1689) served as a spy for King Charles II and later became
one of the most influential dramatists of the late seventeenth century.
Her flamboyant personal life and her treatment of taboo subjects
scandalized her contemporaries.
Eleanor Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah
Ponsonby (1755-1831), best known as the Ladies of Llangollen,
eloped to Wales where they lived together for more than fifty years.
Their relationship is an enduring emblem of romantic friendship.
Corelli (1855-1924) was a popular English novelist in her time,
but she is now known chiefly as a camp figure who inspired E. F. Benson's
was the pseudonym of lesbian lovers Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and
Edith Cooper (1862-1913) who collaborated on a number of plays and
eight volumes of verse, many of which have lesbian contents.
(1856-1935) does not explore lesbian themes directly in her literary or
aesthetic works, though her creative writing reveals a fertile lesbian
Anne Lister(1791-1840) recorded her romantic and sexual relationships with
women in a diary written between 1817 and 1840.
Philips (1632-1664) was considered the "English Sappho" of her
day. Two thirds of her poems concern erotic relationships among women.
Rossetti(1830-1894) was a masterful poet who was obsessed with
her religion. Her repressed sexuality was vividly expressed in poetry
that included intensely erotic female-to-female affection.
Sarah Scott(1723-1795) wrote novels that challenged the patriarchal sex-gender
system of her time.
(1742-1809) was one of the best known English poets of her time. She
had several romantic friendships with women and celebrated the Ladies
of Llangollen in verse.
Somerville (1858-1949) and Violet
Martin (1862-1915), who published as Somerville and Ross, were
partners in life and work. Their novel The Real Charlotte, is
one of the finest Irish novels of the nineteenth century.