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Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 1 - Ordinary Women

(Originally aired 2016/08/27)

Let’s start this series with some ordinary women. Nobody special: they weren’t scandalous aristocrats or dashing adventurers or women who set out to transgress the rules of society. All they did was love each other. Perhaps not wisely, perhaps not always well.

When interviewing authors of historical fiction for the podcast, one of things that come up regularly is that people have a hard time finding research on what, specifically, women in earlier ages were doing in bed together. But both sexual practices and attitudes towards them are strongly influenced by culture. Imagination alone isn't a good guide to sex any more than it is to cuisine or clothing. Today's podcast takes a look at the types of documentary evidence we have for specific sexual techniques and practices, and what they tell us about medieval European women's sexual lives.

Sheena (our fearless leader at The Lesbian Talk Show) was chatting with me on facebook about how I write characters, after the review of Mother of Souls came out at The Lesbian Review (her other project), and it ended up turning into an interview for her series The Write Stuff.

How delightful to wake up this morning to find the release announcement for "Hyddwen" in my Twitter mentions! This is the second story in a series inspired by my love for medieval Welsh literature (and the gnawing feeling that what medieval Welsh literature needed was more lesbians). I love love love what Pip Hoskins, the narrator, has done with this one!

This week I'm talking with Bella Books author Genevieve Fortin about her recent release Water's Edge, involving Canadian immigrants to New England in the late 19th century. Genevieve talks about how local and family history inspired her to write this story.

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

I've titled the first-week-of-the-month round-up podcast "On the Shelf" as a bit of a pun. On the one hand, it's referring to what books I have "on the shelf" to be covered in the blog, or talked about with our guest author. But it was also a term in the 19th century for a woman who was still unmarried at an age when society considered her too old to be an eligible bride. And, of course, a certain number of the women who were "on the shelf" were avoiding marriage to a man very deliberately.

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!


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