THE LOVE OF FRIENDS by Constance Jones


An Anthology of Gay and Lesbian Letters to Friends and Lovers
edited by
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 A lively and wide-ranging collection of sparkling missives, beginning with Sappho and ending with John Cheever, that offers pleasurable reading but fails to make the editor's larger point: that the letters, largely by accomplished writers, ``record a rich and remarkable slice of the gay experience.'' In fact, many of the letters don't address gay issues or demonstrate a particular gay sensibility at all. And the conceit is further diluted by the inclusion of figures whose sexual preferences remain uncertain (Emily Dickinson), or who would seem to have been clearly heterosexual (Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Louis Stevenson). That said, there are many wonderful letters here, by Max Beerbohm, George Bernard Shaw, and Lord Alfred Douglas, discussing Oscar Wilde, and a sheaf of letters by various members of the Bloomsbury circle.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-81409-9
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997