I love history. I love it so damn much. I minored in it when I got my BA in English. And I always, always find myself searching for any hint of women who loved women in times before the modern age. And men who loved men, in fact. And people whose gender presentation differed from the socially accepted “norm.” (Hint: There were and are far more of us than anyone ever told you in school.)
I could go on forever about the various people I’ve learned about, but there’s something particularly cool that’s going on in lesbian fiction right now. As I read more and more contemporary lesbian romance, I see that I’m definitely not alone in wanting to see myself in the people of the past. Whenever I pick up a contemporary lesbian romance novel that involves the characters delving into the past, chances are good that a historical lesbian couple will appear. I’m starting to hope for it every time I pick up a book where the description mentions some discovery out of the past ❤
My first novel, Heart of Glass, which reached best-seller status on Amazon, had this as a central theme. I knew that I wasn’t the first to weave historical lesbians into a story, but I didn’t realize until recently how many other novels share this element. Here are some of my favorites:
Cross My Heart, by Natalie Vivien, has two of my very favorite things: lesbian romance and ghosts ❤ This is a compelling, atmospheric story (and sexy AS HELL) that follows the romance between a commitment-phobic archaeologist and a librarian ghost-hunter as they unravel the mystery of a haunted Victorian mansion. The historical lesbians are woven intricately and eerily into the modern story.
Miserere, by Caren J. Werlinger, is (I think) properly classified as a historical fiction in its own right, since it takes place in the late 1960s. It also blends ghost story with romance and history, following a young girl who must solve a mystery from her family’s Irish past. This novel bridges the gap of time to bring the lesbian romance, which existed in the past, right to the forefront in compelling ways.
Rare and Beautiful Things, by Giselle Fox, is the latest in my collection of books with this theme. I haven’t finished it yet, but reading it inspired me to write this. So far, this novel is stuffed full of adventure and compelling characters, and I can’t wait to watch the historical aspect unfold.
Do you know of any contemporary lesbian romance stories that involve historical lesbians? I’d love to hear about them if you do! 🙂