“Her haircut was thought to be the most feminine of all the short cuts popular at the time, and she had her hair done at Harrods — not a barbershop. Even Hall’s famous sartorial choices were on the feminine side of what was known as the ‘severely masculine mode’… Nor did Hall and her partner Una Troubridge dress in a bizarre manner, wearing, as some biographers have claimed, clothing from a costume shop. The couple studied fashion magazines and built their wardrobes not from men’s tailors in Savile Row, but from the most chic of London’s department stores for women. [unlike Gluck who bought suits from the expensive men’s tailors]. Hall always wore a skirt and conducted herself in a completely womanly way - in short, Hall definitely didn’t model her protagonist, Stephen Gordon, after herself.”Diana Souhami’s biography frequently refers to Radclyffe Hall as John, but she never uses the pronoun ‘he’. While Radclyffe’s anti-hero Stephen Gordon in the Well of Loneliness is very definitely a trans man, perhaps also intersex, his author was not so. And we should note that Radclyffe Hall uses female pronouns for her protagonist in The Well of Loneliness.
|Radclyffe-Hall, Carstairs, Barker and Morris|
- Vita Sackville-West. Challenge. George H. Doran 1924. A novel, based on the affair between Vita and Violet Trefusis, with Vita’s male persona, Julian Davenport, the leader of a revolution on a Greek island. His cousin Eve (Violet) joins him as his lover but becomes jealous of his attachment to the island. The book was published in the States only, for Vita’s father found the portrayal obvious enough to identify his family. In the real world, Julian and Violet broke up because the latter had sex with her actual husband.
- Oscar Paul Gilbert. Men in Women's Guise: Some Historical Instances of Female Impersonation. John Lane The Bodley Head Limited. 284 pp 1926
- Radcliffe Hall, with an appreciation by Havelock Ellis. The Well of Loneliness. Jonathan Cape, 1928. The cover page names the author as ‘Radclyffe Hall’, not as Marguerite nor as John.
"Orlando had become a woman - there was no denying it. But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been. The change of sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity".Based on Woolf’s affair with Vita Sackville-West, imagining Vita as Orlando. Despite the fuss about The Well of Loneliness, no fuss was made about Orlando.
- Virginia Woolf. Orlando: A Biography. Hogarth Press, 1928
- Havelock Ellis. Studies in the Psychology of Sex. Vol 7 Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies. FA Davis 1928. “On the psychic side, as I view it, the Eonist is embodying, in an extreme degree, the aesthetic attitude of imitation of, and identification with, the admired object. It is normal for a man to identify himself with the woman he loves. The Eonist carries that identification too far, stimulated by a sensitive and feminine element in himself which is associated with a rather defective virile sexuality on what may be a neurotic basis.” Perhaps not the very best time to publish this work.
- Anonymous. The Sink of Solitude. 1929. A lampoon in verse by "several hands", satirised both
- Valerie Arkell-Smith. “The Man-Woman – My Story” Sunday Dispatch, 10 March 1929.
- Elfrida Barker. “My Story: By the Man-Woman’s Wife: Mrs Barker Reveals the Truth”. Sunday Express, 10 March 1929.
- Gladys Mitchell. Speedy Death. Victor Gollancz, 1929. The first (of 66) Mrs Bradley detective novel. Explorer Everard Mountjoy is discovered dead in the bath, and to everyone’s surprise – especially his fiancée – he has a female body. Review. Included the delightful untrue story of Captain Jack Tremain who was part of the British team sent to Khartoum in 1884 to rescue General Gordon. Tremain died of malaria and a post mortem revealed his secret. He was previously Miss Wilhelmina Nash.....who wrote in a diary "to be a woman with ambition beyond that which society will allow is to endure a slow death. I was determined to live a life."
- Joan Riviere. “Womanliness as a Masquerade”. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9, 1929: 303-313. Analyses how intellectual women in particular practice an artificial femininity as a defensive mask that is put on to hide masculinity. An important contribution to the concept of gender as social construction.
- Gerald Berniers writing as Adela Quebec. The Girls of Radcliff Hall. Privately published, 1932. A spoof which featured Berniers, Cecil Beaton and others as lesbian schoolgirls at an institution named after the famous writer. Beaton attempted to have all the copies destroyed and it became a very rare book until reprinted in 2000.
- Radclyffe Hall. Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself. William Heinemann, 1934.