Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
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

KAREN MOLSON

novelist, researcher, photographer

Blog

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!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

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

37009 Comments

Reply JasonSlusa
10:20 PM on July 17, 2020 
buy avana buspar pill 10 mg amoxicillin online buy clonidine price of celebrex in south africa buy plaquenil from canada silagra 100mg buy kamagra pills online buy doxycycline online generic accutane
Reply KiaSlusa
10:23 PM on July 17, 2020 
compare prices of generic levitra
Reply LisaSlusa
12:26 AM on July 18, 2020 
buy ciprofloxacin
Reply KiaSlusa
12:49 AM on July 18, 2020 
erythromycin medicine
Reply YonSlusa
3:35 AM on July 18, 2020 
buy hydroxychloroquine over the counter where to buy erythromycin
Reply AmySlusa
3:41 AM on July 18, 2020 
zovirax valtrex
Reply KiaSlusa
4:01 AM on July 18, 2020 
buy buspar
Reply ZakSlusa
6:20 AM on July 18, 2020 
buy clonidine amitriptyline cream nz buspar drug
Reply PaulSlusa
7:04 AM on July 18, 2020 
priligy price doxycycline buy erythromycin buy kamagra online usa buy singulair
Reply KiaSlusa
7:27 AM on July 18, 2020 
buy ciprofloxacin
Reply KiaSlusa
9:50 AM on July 18, 2020 
aralen buy
Reply CarlSlusa
12:34 PM on July 18, 2020 
buy buspar vermox buy buy doxycycline cheap where to buy furosemide aralen phosphate
Reply KiaSlusa
12:52 PM on July 18, 2020 
buy amoxicillin
Reply KiaSlusa
6:14 PM on July 18, 2020 
valtrex pills
Reply WimSlusa
10:28 PM on July 18, 2020 
purchase lipitor
Reply MarkSlusa
11:51 PM on July 18, 2020 
cymbalta 60 purchase doxycycline online uk kamagra 150 baclofen 10 singulair 10mg ciprofloxacin online
Reply CarlSlusa
2:29 AM on July 19, 2020 
buy wellbutrin buy ciprofloxacin online tadalafil tablets for sale celebrex pill buy xenical
Reply BooSlusa
2:32 AM on July 19, 2020 
buy baclofen buy finpecia cymbalta buy quineprox 80 mg buy xenical buspar drug sildenafil 50 mg online us ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg
Reply LisaSlusa
3:37 AM on July 19, 2020 
buy erythromycin
Reply MarySlusa
3:53 AM on July 19, 2020 
celebrex 200mg 10 mg baclofen avana online cost of erythromycin 500mg buy dapoxetine online india levitra 20 mg cheap lasix vs furosemide buy lipitor chloroquine phosphate buy amoxicillin