Letter about Radclyffe Hall's 'The Wells of Loneliness', 1928

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Document: Letter to the Home Office about the lesbian-themed book ‘The Well of Loneliness’ by Radclyffe Hall, 1928 (DPP 1/88)

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In 1928, British author Radclyffe Hall published her novel 'The Well of Loneliness' about a women who is an 'invert' (homosexual). In portrays 'inversion' as natural, and pleads: 'Give us also the right to our existence'. After publication, the book was targeted by the media and underwent an obscenity trial in November 1928, after which it was ordered to be destroyed.

This letter to the Home Office from the Director of Public Prosecutions was written in August 1928, before the obscenity trial. In it, he gives his view that 'In my view the book would tend to corrupt the minds of young persons if it fell into their hands and its sale is undesirable'. He also writes that Radclyffe Hall prefers to describe herself as an 'invert', like the book's protagonist.

Find a transcript of this document here: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/twenties-...

Learn more about LGBTQ+ history with our new LGBTQ+ history assembly resource: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/discoveri...

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Owner: The National Archives UK
Source: Flickr Commons
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