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2 Remote Warehouse Gay and Lesbian- Lesbian Fiction

The Friendly Young Ladies

by

The Friendly Young Ladies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in 1937, The Friendly Young Ladies is a romantic comedy of off-Bloomsbury bohemia. Sheltered, naïve, and just eighteen, Elsie leaves the stifling environment of her parents' home in Cornwall to seek out her sister, Leo, who had run away nine years earlier. She finds Leo sharing a houseboat, and a bed, with the beautiful, fair-haired Helen. While Elsie's arrival seems innocent enough, it is the first of a series of events that will turn Helen and Leo's contented life inside out. Soon a randy young doctor is chasing after all three women at once, a neighborly friendship begins to show an erotic tinge, and long-quiet ghosts from Leo's past begin to surface. Before long, no one is sure just who feels what for whom.

Mary Renault wrote this delightfully provocative novel in the early 1940s, creating characters that are lighthearted, charming, and free-spirited partly in answer to the despair characteristic of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness or Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour. The result is a witty and stylish story that offers exceptional insight into the world of upcoming writers and artists of in 1930s London, chronicling their rejection of society's established sexual mores and their heroic pursuits of art and life.

Review:

"Renault's 1944 novel, republished in a Vintage paperback edition, is both sharp and light, a social comedy of sexual identity in which the issue is hardly discussed. Leave those conversations to the dim or doctrinaire, seems to be Renault's attitude. Most famous for her series of novels set in ancient Greece (The King Must Die, The Persian Boy and so on), Renault takes the changeability of sexuality for granted. What may seem like the author's reticence is actually a mark of her sophistication, far beyond the hard and fast boundaries of identity politics." Charles Taylor, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

Review:

"Undeniably charming...has an enormous nostalgic attractiveness." The New Yorker

Review:

"Written with rare insight." The Boston Globe

Review:

"A very lively and human story." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Reading Mary Renault's The Friendly Young Ladies is like settling down with a warming cup of tea only to find yourself warily wondering if that bitter flavor is the bite of almonds or the sting of cyanide. Renault's 1944 novel, republished in a Vintage paperback edition, is both sharp and light, a social comedy of sexual identity in which the issue is hardly discussed....Renault's refusal to spell out what is plain is a way of treating readers who don't understand that Leo and Helen are lovers (or ideologues who insist that they be either lesbian or straight) as unsophisticated party poopers. And her subtle insistence that sexuality is not always a determined thing is a much stronger argument for sexual freedom. The Friendly Young Ladies is not a warm book, but its acerbic charm is refreshingly free of sentimental eyewash. And someone at Vintage Books has abetted Renault nicely. The cover of this new edition features Diego Rivera's painting Natasha Z. Gelman showing a sleek redhead in an evening gown posed against a soft explosion of lilies. Rivera's immersion in sensuality here is worth every political canvas he ever painted." Charles Taylor, Salon.com

Synopsis:

When seventeen-year-old Elsie runs away from home, she seeks out her older sister Leo, only to find Leo sharing a houseboat, and a bed, with the beautiful, fair-haired Helen. When Elsie decides to stay for a bit, she turns Helen and Leo's lifestyle upside down. An enchanting portrait of Bohemian life in 1930s London, this delightfully provocative romantic comedy was written in 1943 in opposition to the despair characteristic of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness or Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour.

Synopsis:

Set in 1937, 'The Friendly Young Ladies' is a romantic comedy of off-Bloomsbury bohemia.

About the Author

Mary Renault was born in London and educated at Oxford. She then trained for three years as a nurse, and wrote her first published novel, Promise of Love. Her next three novels were written while serving in WWII. After the war, she settled in South Africa and traveled considerably in Africa and Greece. It was at this time that she began writing her brilliant historical reconstructions of ancient Greece, including The King Must Die, The Last of the Wine, and The Persian Boy. She died in Cape Town in 1983.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375714214
Author:
Renault, Mary
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Mary Renault Introduction by Lillian Faderman
Location:
New York
Subject:
Lesbians
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Physicians
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Lesbian
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Houseboats
Subject:
Bohemianism
Subject:
Triangles
Subject:
Bloomsbury
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-Lesbian Fiction
Subject:
fiction;novel;lesbian;1930s;virago;20th century;british;sisters;1940s;queer;women
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reissue ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
GTR-575
Publication Date:
May 13, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.00x5.19x.71 in. .40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Gay Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Lesbian Fiction

The Friendly Young Ladies New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.00 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375714214 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Renault's 1944 novel, republished in a Vintage paperback edition, is both sharp and light, a social comedy of sexual identity in which the issue is hardly discussed. Leave those conversations to the dim or doctrinaire, seems to be Renault's attitude. Most famous for her series of novels set in ancient Greece (The King Must Die, The Persian Boy and so on), Renault takes the changeability of sexuality for granted. What may seem like the author's reticence is actually a mark of her sophistication, far beyond the hard and fast boundaries of identity politics." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review" by , "Undeniably charming...has an enormous nostalgic attractiveness."
"Review" by , "Written with rare insight."
"Review" by , "A very lively and human story."
"Review" by , "Reading Mary Renault's The Friendly Young Ladies is like settling down with a warming cup of tea only to find yourself warily wondering if that bitter flavor is the bite of almonds or the sting of cyanide. Renault's 1944 novel, republished in a Vintage paperback edition, is both sharp and light, a social comedy of sexual identity in which the issue is hardly discussed....Renault's refusal to spell out what is plain is a way of treating readers who don't understand that Leo and Helen are lovers (or ideologues who insist that they be either lesbian or straight) as unsophisticated party poopers. And her subtle insistence that sexuality is not always a determined thing is a much stronger argument for sexual freedom. The Friendly Young Ladies is not a warm book, but its acerbic charm is refreshingly free of sentimental eyewash. And someone at Vintage Books has abetted Renault nicely. The cover of this new edition features Diego Rivera's painting Natasha Z. Gelman showing a sleek redhead in an evening gown posed against a soft explosion of lilies. Rivera's immersion in sensuality here is worth every political canvas he ever painted."
"Synopsis" by , When seventeen-year-old Elsie runs away from home, she seeks out her older sister Leo, only to find Leo sharing a houseboat, and a bed, with the beautiful, fair-haired Helen. When Elsie decides to stay for a bit, she turns Helen and Leo's lifestyle upside down. An enchanting portrait of Bohemian life in 1930s London, this delightfully provocative romantic comedy was written in 1943 in opposition to the despair characteristic of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness or Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour.
"Synopsis" by , Set in 1937, 'The Friendly Young Ladies' is a romantic comedy of off-Bloomsbury bohemia.
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