Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart


novelist, researcher, photographer


Jane Rule (1931-2007) and me

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Jane Rule (1931-2007) and me

I’m sorry to say I never met Jane Rule.


I knew about her, of course; she was in the media spotlight now and then, particularly in the 1970s when I was coming of age. I wanted to look for her books at the library but was afraid her high public profile made asking for—or worse, being seen reading—them feel like some big public announcement I wasn’t ready to make.


Jane Rule wasn’t in the spotlight just because she was a writer, but particularly so because she was a lesbian writer.


Her novel “Desert of the Heart" was rejected by 22 publishers before it was finally accepted and released in 1964. The movie adaptation called “Desert Hearts” was made 21 years after that.


She went on to write many more novels of course, as well as non-fiction, short stories and columns.


But when I became a teenager in 1973 I was more into books like Radclyffe Hall’s “The Well of Loneliness”, which requisite tragic ending probably allowed it to be published in the first place. (I wish I could remember by what subterfuge I managed to find and surreptitiously read this novel.)


When in 1974 came “Portrait of A Marriage”, by Nigel Nicolson, I gobbled it up. No one had to know I wasn’t reading it solely for its historical interest. It’s a memoir about Nicholson’s parents’ relationship and their love affairs, kept secret from the outside world but not from each other. Vita Sackville-West would fall deeply in love with women, among them Violet Trefusis and later, Virginia Woolf, while her husband Harold Nicolson had many male lovers as he sailed through a brilliant career in politics and diplomacy. Vita and Harold also created what is arguably the most beautiful garden in England at Sissinghurst, in Kent, today preserved by the National Trust.


But I digress.


Portrait of a Marriage got me interested enough to learn more about Vita and Harold, first to find and read, then to eventually purchase all published volumes of Harold Nicolson’s diaries. I relished the elegance of his writing style. But I was less interested in Harold’s lovers than I was in Vita’s, which pursuit brought me to Virginia Woolf. Virginia introduced me to the Bloomsbury Group, whose members included Duncan Grant, Clive and Vanessa Bell, Maynard Keynes, and the biographer extraordinaire, Lytton Strachey. I began to collect works by and about all these people.


A few years passed recently during which I made no new acquisitions to my Bloomsbury book collection. Then at a friend’s house I came across one I didn’t have, called “Lytton Strachey by Himself”, a collection of writings including juvenilia edited by Michael Holroyd. I found a used copy online at a surprisingly reasonable price and ordered it from the Victoria, B.C. bookseller. When it arrived in the mail I first opened the invoice, a folded piece of paper which bore a brief description of the book, a list of its shortcomings, as it were: faded back cover, a small tear at the top of the front dust jacket, a faint stain on the inside cover, a bookplate. In other words these four imperfections contributed to the price being low. As any avid reader knows, these were all signs of a book being often handled, much loved. Which to me is where the real value lies.


Curious, I opened the cover and found the bookplate.


“From the library of Jane Rule and Helen Sonthoff”


And there it was. A posthumous gift from someone I never met but who blazed a trail before me, someone who dared in her work to present women loving one another and living fulfilled lives, who validated and empowered a generation of us, whose own 45-year relationship ended with Helen’s death in 2000.


Jane Rule died in 2007, and some time afterwards this book from her library ended up in a second-hand bookshop in Victoria, where it was wrapped up and mailed to me. Now it is in my astonished and grateful hands. Thank you, Jane Rule.


Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply lebron james shoes
7:23 AM on January 23, 2022 
Thanks for each of your effort on this site. Gloria really likes doing research and it's easy to see why. We all learn all concerning the lively form you present informative tips on your website and as well as increase contribution from the others on the content and our favorite girl is truly learning so much. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You're carrying out a terrific job.
lebron james shoes
Reply jordan 13
7:23 AM on January 23, 2022 
I actually wanted to type a word so as to appreciate you for these unique tips and hints you are showing on this site. My time intensive internet research has finally been honored with reputable know-how to talk about with my company. I would assert that we visitors actually are very much fortunate to live in a fantastic network with so many marvellous individuals with beneficial suggestions. I feel extremely blessed to have come across your entire site and look forward to some more awesome moments reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.
jordan 13
Reply bape hoodie
7:42 AM on January 23, 2022 
I wanted to compose a brief word to thank you for those marvelous solutions you are writing at this website. My time-consuming internet search has now been paid with reliable facts and techniques to share with my partners. I 'd suppose that most of us site visitors are quite endowed to be in a notable site with so many perfect professionals with insightful tricks. I feel quite grateful to have come across your web pages and look forward to tons of more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.
bape hoodie
Reply longchamp handbags
7:50 AM on January 23, 2022 
My wife and i were now lucky that Edward managed to finish off his research while using the ideas he came across through the web site. It's not at all simplistic just to always be freely giving techniques that many other people might have been selling. And we all already know we need the blog owner to appreciate for this. The most important illustrations you've made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you will help to engender - it's many remarkable, and it's helping our son in addition to our family believe that the topic is brilliant, which is rather indispensable. Thanks for all!
longchamp handbags
Reply yeezy
8:08 AM on January 23, 2022 
I want to express some appreciation to this writer just for bailing me out of this type of setting. Because of browsing throughout the the net and seeing tips which were not powerful, I believed my life was done. Living minus the solutions to the difficulties you've resolved through your review is a serious case, as well as those that would have negatively affected my career if I hadn't noticed your web blog. The capability and kindness in controlling all areas was excellent. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't encountered such a step like this. I can also at this moment relish my future. Thanks very much for this impressive and result oriented guide. I won't think twice to refer your blog to any individual who needs care about this issue.
Reply curry 7 sour patch
8:09 AM on January 23, 2022 
My spouse and i felt so thankful Edward could carry out his survey from your ideas he made from your very own web site. It is now and again perplexing just to happen to be releasing points which other folks might have been trying to sell. And now we do understand we've got you to be grateful to for that. All the illustrations you made, the simple site navigation, the friendships your site help to foster - it is mostly wonderful, and it's aiding our son and the family recognize that the content is brilliant, and that is highly pressing. Thanks for the whole lot!
curry 7 sour patch
Reply jordan shoes
8:32 AM on January 23, 2022 
I precisely wished to say thanks again. I do not know the things I would've tried in the absence of these thoughts shown by you on my theme. It seemed to be the intimidating matter in my view, however , viewing this skilled fashion you processed it forced me to leap with delight. Now i am happier for the work and in addition pray you comprehend what a powerful job your are accomplishing educating others thru your web site. I am certain you haven't got to know any of us.
jordan shoes
Reply nike off white
8:56 AM on January 23, 2022 
I precisely had to appreciate you once more. I do not know what I would have implemented in the absence of these creative concepts contributed by you directly on my subject. It became the fearsome setting in my opinion, however , understanding the very professional approach you dealt with the issue made me to jump for gladness. Now i am happy for this assistance as well as hope you recognize what a great job that you're putting in instructing men and women all through your website. Probably you haven't encountered any of us.
nike off white
Reply yeezy 500
9:29 AM on January 23, 2022 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally breathtaking chance to read articles and blog posts from this blog. It's usually very beneficial and as well , jam-packed with a lot of fun for me and my office friends to search your web site no less than 3 times in a week to learn the fresh items you have. Not to mention, I'm just at all times motivated considering the perfect things served by you. Certain 4 points in this posting are in fact the most suitable we have had.
yeezy 500
Reply supreme clothing
9:53 AM on January 23, 2022 
I precisely wanted to appreciate you again. I'm not certain the things I might have achieved in the absence of those ways provided by you relating to such a subject. Previously it was a real fearsome difficulty in my circumstances, however , witnessing your specialized approach you handled it took me to weep for contentment. I will be happier for your information and in addition sincerely hope you are aware of an amazing job your are getting into educating men and women through the use of your blog post. More than likely you haven't got to know any of us.
supreme clothing
Reply kobe 9
9:54 AM on January 23, 2022 
I want to get across my passion for your kindness giving support to people who have the need for help with your theme. Your real commitment to getting the message all through became astonishingly productive and have without exception enabled somebody much like me to get to their goals. Your entire useful recommendations means much to me and further more to my mates. Regards; from all of us.
kobe 9
Reply supreme hoodie
11:11 AM on January 23, 2022 
I am also commenting to let you understand of the fantastic encounter my wife's child gained using your site. She realized a lot of details, with the inclusion of how it is like to have a marvelous teaching nature to get other folks easily completely grasp various very confusing subject matter. You actually did more than people's expected results. Thank you for displaying these good, trustworthy, educational and as well as cool thoughts on this topic to Mary.
supreme hoodie
Reply paul george shoes
12:13 PM on January 23, 2022 
My wife and i were quite comfortable when Louis managed to finish off his investigations from the ideas he received out of the blog. It's not at all simplistic just to choose to be giving out key points other folks could have been selling. Therefore we realize we've got the writer to appreciate for that. The illustrations you made, the simple blog menu, the friendships you give support to create - it's many amazing, and it's letting our son and us believe that the subject matter is pleasurable, and that's extraordinarily serious. Thank you for the whole lot!
paul george shoes
Reply off white outlet
1:50 PM on January 23, 2022 
I would like to express my love for your kind-heartedness giving support to persons that absolutely need guidance on your niche. Your real dedication to passing the message across became really interesting and have all the time helped girls much like me to get to their endeavors. Your entire helpful help entails much to me and still more to my colleagues. Regards; from everyone of us.
off white outlet
Reply hermes
1:57 PM on January 23, 2022 
I must express appreciation to you for rescuing me from this particular issue. Just after searching throughout the the net and seeing strategies which were not powerful, I thought my life was well over. Being alive devoid of the approaches to the difficulties you've sorted out by way of your report is a serious case, as well as the ones that might have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I had not noticed the blog. Your main mastery and kindness in playing with almost everything was excellent. I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't come upon such a thing like this. I'm able to at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks so much for this professional and results-oriented help. I will not hesitate to suggest the website to any individual who desires guidelines about this subject matter.
Reply hermes belt
2:05 PM on January 23, 2022 
I wanted to type a brief comment to be able to express gratitude to you for all the fantastic ways you are posting here. My rather long internet research has at the end of the day been compensated with high-quality points to talk about with my companions. I 'd claim that many of us visitors actually are truly fortunate to dwell in a fine community with so many brilliant individuals with good tricks. I feel really privileged to have seen the webpages and look forward to really more pleasurable minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.
hermes belt
Reply retro jordans
2:17 PM on January 23, 2022 
A lot of thanks for your own efforts on this website. My mom take interest in going through internet research and it's obvious why. My partner and i know all about the lively tactic you make very important ideas by means of this web blog and even welcome participation from some other people on this area while our own princess is now understanding a great deal. Have fun with the rest of the new year. Your performing a glorious job.
retro jordans
Reply lebron shoes
2:17 PM on January 23, 2022 
I simply wished to thank you very much once again. I do not know the things that I would've worked on in the absence of the tips and hints contributed by you on that situation. Certainly was an absolute frightful setting for me, nevertheless coming across this specialized way you handled the issue made me to cry for gladness. I am just grateful for this assistance and as well , hope that you realize what a powerful job you happen to be getting into educating some other people thru your webblog. Probably you've never got to know any of us.
lebron shoes
Reply kevin durant shoes
2:18 PM on January 23, 2022 
My wife and i ended up being so joyful John managed to carry out his investigations via the ideas he came across in your web page. It's not at all simplistic to simply choose to be making a gift of instructions a number of people might have been selling. So we understand we have the website owner to appreciate because of that. The main explanations you've made, the simple website menu, the relationships you will assist to engender - it's many great, and it's making our son in addition to the family know that that matter is brilliant, which is very mandatory. Thanks for everything!
kevin durant shoes
Reply supreme
2:19 PM on January 23, 2022 
A lot of thanks for all of your effort on this web site. Kate enjoys going through investigation and it's really easy to understand why. All of us hear all about the lively medium you produce important steps by means of your blog and as well as foster contribution from other people about this concept so our child is actually studying a great deal. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You have been conducting a splendid job.