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Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present [Paperback]

Lillian Faderman

RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

1 July 1985
Faderman takes a look at the traditional view of lesbianism, drawing on love letters, trial records, pornography and the 'experts' proclamations, and shows how shifting theories of female sexuality makes some things acceptable and others taboo.

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First Sentence
In a sixteenth-century French work by Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de Brantome (1540-1614), entitled Lives of Fair and Gal Ladies, which deals primarily with the amorous exploits of the females of the court of Henri II, the author includes a lengthy sec on lovemaking between women. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A text for women who are "wondering" 13 Jan 2009
By Amy D. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Recently I was asked for a list of books for "an adult who is just beginning to explore whether or not they may be bi or lesbian". As someone who went through this many, many years ago and has written extensively on this topic, Faderman's book was one of the first that came to mind.

As individuals exploring our own sexuality - regardless of what that is - gaining historical context and perspective is a critical part of self-discovery. This is not the only book I'd recommend and it has a scholarly aspect which borders on clinical for a woman (or man or other) on the road to self-discovery.

I cannot count how many copies of this book I have purchased over the years, highlighting various passages which held out special meaning or purpose for me, and passed on to others. In the end, we all have our own paths and Ms. Faderman's book manages to cross most of them.

For those on a personal path, or those looking to understand the concerns and needs of a loved one trying to understand their place as a lesbian and bisexual in today's world, this is an excellent text for reading and gaining historical perspective. Bravo to Ms. Faderman for not 'updating' a historical text but letting her original research prevail.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars but this thing doesn't do halves 28 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The author forcefully insists on the real passion between the women that she studies; this becomes to me repetitive and distracting. However, given the historical context of this book, in which a "lesbian recovery" of history was less accepted, I see the purpose of her tactics. In any case, the author draws together a wealth of evidence that makes for fascinating and provocative reading, even if she does lean a bit too much on literary examples as proof of what attitudes were "really." She makes a strong case, though. Recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Compelling Stuff 6 May 2008
By Page Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised there's only one other review for this book! It's absolutely fascinating, and should be on the list of anyone interested in not only womens' issues, but human relationships in general. It will definitely make you think, but it is not a difficult read, and Faderman covers an impressively vast array of sources. I'll be recommending this one to everybody.
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as advertised! 15 Mar 2013
By rachel halloran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Package came quickly and I was pleased with how much care was taken in packaging. Can't wait to start reading it!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if you're into lesbian history. 5 Feb 2012
By Ashley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting and informative, Surpassing the Love of Men is a long anthology of romantic friendships from the 16th century until the 1980s, when the book was written. Although this book is interesting, it is not exactly a page turner. The focus is a bet repetitive and reads somewhat like a textbook. However, I do not regret buying this book and I am still reading it, about five chapters in.
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