Lesbianism, History, and Censorship: The Well of Loneliness and the Suppressed Randiness of Virginia Woolf's Orlando

  • Adam Parkes
  • Twentieth Century Literature, January 1994, JSTOR
  • DOI: 10.2307/441599

Radclyffe Hall, Virginia Woolf, and censorship.

What is it about?

In 1928 a British judge banned Raclyffe Hall's novel The Well of Loneliness. This essay uses the trial as a context for reading not only Hall's novel but also Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Written just before the Hall trial, Woolf's book anticipates and preemptively subverts the social and aesthetic premises on which the Hall trial was based.

Why is it important?

Offers the first interpretation of Orlando as a modernist text that engages with the culture of censorship in which Woolf, like Hall, was working. Includes discussion of previously unpublished material from Hall's letters.

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