An impressive piece of scholarship that seeks to bring passion into the lesbian history of late 17th and 18th century England. Closely reading the literature of the period, novelist Donoghue (Stir-Fry, 1994) gives her reader meticulously detailed evidence that during the years 16681801 lesbianism was popularly represented. Contrary to historians who have a tendency to dilute and dismiss bonds between women as sisterly affection, Donoghue asserts that women who loved women during the 18th century did not only have friendship on their minds. While the word lesbian could be used in the context of friendship, the term ``tribade'' (from Greek, meaning ``a woman who rubs'') was most commonly used to describe any woman capable of enjoying sex with another. With chapters on female hermaphrodites, female husbands, cross-dressing, romantic friendship, and erotica, Donoghue explores a range of female relationships from the platonic to the sexual. She does not shy away from the controversial when she examines the erotica of the time (almost exclusively written by men) and gains affirmation from the lesbian eroticism found in a literature other feminists might deem offensive. A lesbian herself, Donoghue's investment in her own text makes it all the more engaging. She deserves credit for making a distinction between lesbian and bisexual history and explicitly states that her book is a ``shared'' one. She also does well to emphasize that gay male history and lesbian history should be studied separately. While her prose is crisp and sometimes refreshingly ironic, Donoghue falls into the academic trap of overloading her reader with exhaustive textual examples. At times slow going, but nonetheless offering historical affirmation of an erotic and romantic lesbian presence during this period.