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I'm not going to lie: I'm feeling a bit anxious about the reception of this week's podcast. The topic of how erotic desire has been handled with respect to the history of lesbians has the potential for hurtful erasure on every side. Some scholars have approached the history of sexuality from a position that erotic desire and erotic activity are how you define the presence of lesbianism.

Author Catherine Lundoff returns to the podcast to share some of her favorite lesbian historical fiction. I hope this series of segments will help people find new (or old) titles that may strike their fancy.

Listen to the podcast here at the Lesbian Talk Show site, or subscribe through your favorite podcast aggregator, such as iTunes, Podbean, or Stitcher.

Today the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast interviews author Catherine Lundoff about her historical and historically-inspired fiction featuring women-loving-women. Catherine also writes some great science fiction and fantasy and has started a new publishing house: Queen of Swords Press. Find out more about her projects in the interview!

Starting this month, the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast is expanding from monthly to weekly! Originally I was hesitant to try an expanded schedule because I didn't think I could produce enough new material to match that demand. The key was trying some new episode types. And it all ties in with promoting the general idea of lesbian historical fiction. Basically, I'll be adding author interviews, and people talking about their favorite lesbian historical fiction.

This month's historic podcast as about 17th century Spanish gender outlaw Catalina de Erauso. If you've been reading the LHMP entries recently, you'll know why Catalina's life is so fascinating. The podcast includes autobiography excerpts and a discussion of how Catalina became a fictionalized figure across the Spanish-speaking world.

The Monday holiday almost made me lose track of setting this post to go live! Such is the power of habit--my brain is in weekend mode. The next few LHMP entries are chosen to tie in with the August podcast "Beguines, Boston Marriage, and Bed Death: Historic Archetypes of Asexual Lesbianism". This week we look at a study of modern (well, at least 1990s) asexual lesbian relationships with reference to the historic concept of Boston Marriage.

Using the records of court cases to research lesbian lives in history is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, they often present a wealth of detail not found in any other type of record unless--by miraculous luck--a personal diary or set of candid correspondence is unearthed. But conversely, court cases, by their nature, present a skewed view of people's lives. They show people in conflict and distress. They arise when relationships go bad, or were never particularly good in the first place.

The full picture of what life was like comes not just from individual details nor from the "official" opinions of professionals, but from an interaction between the two. The legal theories of what constitutes "sodomy" for a woman won't tell you what women were actually doing, but it will help us understand what the potential consequences were for them, depending on the nature of their activities. Similarly, a learned physician's opinion about whether lesbianism was a moral or a medical matter could inform what arguments could be brought to bear on how such women should be treated.

One of the regular challenges to understanding the history of lesbians, even in as defined a scope as Europe, is the accessibility of the literature--not just the languages of the primary sources, but the languages in which research is published. I will freely confess that my own access is largely limited to material published in English, though I can work my way through a German article if need be.

Velasco takes a deep look at how the historical facts of a specific individual are interpreted and rearranged to suit the entertainment and didactic purposes of later ages. From that angle, this book is strongly aligned with the underlying purpose of the LHMP: to consider how history can be used as a basis for fiction, without the fiction being constrained entirely by the history.

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