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
3:10 AM on January 25, 2022 
I have to express my respect for your kind-heartedness supporting individuals that require help with your subject matter. Your real commitment to getting the message around came to be exceedingly effective and have consistently allowed some individuals like me to arrive at their endeavors. The valuable publication means a great deal to me and additionally to my office workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.
lebron james shoes
Reply supreme hoodie
3:10 AM on January 25, 2022 
I must show some thanks to you just for rescuing me from such a incident. As a result of surfing around through the world-wide-web and finding ways that were not beneficial, I assumed my life was over. Existing minus the answers to the difficulties you have fixed by way of your main short article is a critical case, as well as the ones which might have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across your blog. Your capability and kindness in controlling all the details was very useful. I don't know what I would've done if I hadn't encountered such a thing like this. I can also at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this specialized and result oriented help. I will not be reluctant to suggest your blog to any person who requires tips about this topic.
supreme hoodie
Reply yeezy shoes
3:19 AM on January 25, 2022 
I just wanted to post a brief note so as to appreciate you for these wonderful tactics you are posting on this site. My time-consuming internet search has now been compensated with beneficial know-how to write about with my visitors. I 'd believe that most of us visitors are very endowed to live in a magnificent place with many lovely professionals with insightful principles. I feel very much lucky to have come across your webpages and look forward to some more excellent minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.
yeezy shoes
Reply off white outlet
3:31 AM on January 25, 2022 
I not to mention my pals appeared to be analyzing the nice information located on the blog while all of the sudden I got a horrible feeling I never thanked you for those techniques. All the women happened to be consequently glad to study them and have very much been making the most of these things. I appreciate you for getting very accommodating as well as for considering variety of exceptional guides most people are really needing to understand about. My very own honest regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.
off white outlet
Reply lebron shoes
3:58 AM on January 25, 2022 
I wish to voice my respect for your generosity for those individuals that need help on the issue. Your real dedication to getting the message all-around appears to be astonishingly significant and have always allowed employees just like me to attain their dreams. Your amazing warm and friendly recommendations can mean this much a person like me and even further to my office workers. Thank you; from each one of us.
lebron shoes
Reply yeezy boost 700
4:15 AM on January 25, 2022 
Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a spectacular opportunity to read in detail from this web site. It is always so pleasing plus packed with a good time for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit your blog particularly three times in a week to find out the new guides you have got. And lastly, I'm also always pleased concerning the wonderful things you serve. Selected 4 ideas in this posting are in fact the simplest we have all ever had.
yeezy boost 700
Reply cheap jordans
4:26 AM on January 25, 2022 
I needed to post you a very little word to be able to give thanks the moment again just for the breathtaking knowledge you've documented in this article. This is quite particularly open-handed with you to give openly all some people would've offered as an e book to get some dough on their own, precisely now that you might well have tried it if you considered necessary. Those ideas in addition served like a great way to recognize that other individuals have the identical fervor similar to my personal own to see significantly more with regard to this condition. I know there are thousands of more pleasurable opportunities in the future for folks who read carefully your site.
cheap jordans
Reply golden goose
4:27 AM on January 25, 2022 
I as well as my friends have been reading the nice tips and tricks located on your web page while the sudden developed an awful suspicion I had not thanked the website owner for those techniques. All of the young boys are actually for that reason warmed to study all of them and have in effect surely been making the most of them. Appreciate your genuinely quite kind and then for picking such perfect ideas millions of individuals are really desirous to know about. My personal honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.
golden goose
Reply yeezy 350
4:39 AM on January 25, 2022 
I want to show some thanks to you for bailing me out of this particular matter. Right after checking throughout the world wide web and meeting strategies which were not beneficial, I believed my life was done. Being alive devoid of the strategies to the issues you have fixed as a result of this site is a serious case, as well as the ones that would have in a wrong way damaged my career if I had not discovered your web page. Your own personal mastery and kindness in controlling a lot of stuff was very helpful. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come upon such a stuff like this. I am able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this high quality and result oriented guide. I won't think twice to propose your web sites to anybody who needs guidance about this matter.
yeezy 350
Reply kobe basketball shoes
4:45 AM on January 25, 2022 
A lot of thanks for each of your work on this website. Ellie takes pleasure in getting into research and it is obvious why. Most people know all regarding the lively medium you offer great solutions by means of this web site and as well as welcome participation from other people on this situation while my child is actually discovering a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You are carrying out a very good job.
kobe basketball shoes
Reply golden goose outlet
4:45 AM on January 25, 2022 
My spouse and i have been very relieved that John could round up his analysis while using the precious recommendations he had from your very own site. It's not at all simplistic to just choose to be giving for free tips that many the others have been selling. And we all realize we have the website owner to be grateful to for that. All the explanations you've made, the straightforward web site navigation, the relationships you will aid to promote - it's everything unbelievable, and it is aiding our son and our family believe that that content is awesome, and that's truly essential. Many thanks for the whole thing!
golden goose outlet
Reply off white
5:19 AM on January 25, 2022 
I truly wanted to construct a small message to be able to express gratitude to you for those nice items you are sharing at this website. My time consuming internet lookup has at the end of the day been compensated with brilliant details to talk about with my neighbours. I would declare that we site visitors actually are undeniably blessed to live in a fantastic community with so many perfect individuals with useful tricks. I feel very lucky to have come across your entire web site and look forward to so many more cool times reading here. Thank you again for a lot of things.
off white
Reply curry 8
5:45 AM on January 25, 2022 
I must voice my love for your generosity supporting men who really need help with this one situation. Your personal commitment to passing the solution up and down had been particularly productive and have specifically empowered ladies much like me to attain their targets. The invaluable key points means so much to me and even further to my fellow workers. Regards; from each one of us.
curry 8
Reply kyrie 7 shoes
5:52 AM on January 25, 2022 
Thanks so much for providing individuals with remarkably memorable possiblity to check tips from this site. It can be very good and as well , full of a good time for me personally and my office co-workers to search your website particularly thrice in a week to see the newest guidance you will have. And indeed, I'm just actually happy with the striking principles you give. Selected two facts in this post are absolutely the most suitable we have had.
kyrie 7 shoes
Reply moncler
5:53 AM on January 25, 2022 
My husband and i ended up being so more than happy when Edward managed to finish off his investigation through the entire ideas he came across while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just happen to be making a gift of tips and tricks that many some other people might have been making money from. So we know we have the blog owner to be grateful to for that. All of the explanations you have made, the simple website navigation, the friendships you can aid to engender - it is all spectacular, and it is assisting our son and us reckon that the topic is entertaining, and that's exceptionally essential. Thank you for all!
Reply kyrie 7 shoes
6:41 AM on January 25, 2022 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone such a nice opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this website. It can be very fantastic and full of fun for me and my office peers to visit your site not less than 3 times in one week to read through the latest guides you will have. And indeed, I am just certainly fulfilled considering the sensational tricks you serve. Some 1 ideas on this page are in reality the most beneficial we have all ever had.
kyrie 7 shoes
Reply cheap jordans
7:01 AM on January 25, 2022 
I wish to express thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular issue. Because of searching throughout the the web and getting advice that were not pleasant, I thought my life was well over. Existing without the answers to the problems you've resolved all through your good guideline is a critical case, and the ones which may have badly affected my entire career if I hadn't noticed your site. Your personal knowledge and kindness in dealing with the whole thing was useful. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a step like this. I am able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the reliable and effective guide. I will not hesitate to refer your blog to any person who should get guide about this problem.
cheap jordans
Reply kyrie 5
7:52 AM on January 25, 2022 
I simply wanted to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things I would have achieved in the absence of the actual tips and hints shared by you about my question. Certainly was a horrifying situation in my circumstances, but encountering a well-written technique you solved it made me to weep with happiness. I will be grateful for the guidance and then pray you realize what a powerful job that you're providing instructing the others thru your blog post. I am sure you have never come across all of us.
kyrie 5