Partner Mabel Batten and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, buried together with Batten
King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, Regno Unito
Sunny Lawn, 6 Durley Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5JL, Regno Unito
The Forecastle, Hucksteps Row, Church Square, Rye TN31 7HG, Regno Unito
The Mermaid Inn, Mermaid St, Rye TN31 7EY, Regno Unito
Santa Maria, West St, Rye TN31 7ES, UK
Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge House, 8 Watchbell St, Rye TN31 7HA, Regno Unito
Black Boy, 4 High St, Rye TN31 7JE, Regno Unito
502 Dolphin Square East Side, Pimlico, London SW1V, Regno Unito
59 Cadogan Square, Chelsea, London SW1X 0HZ, Regno Unito
22 Draycott Ave, Chelsea, London SW3 3AA, Regno Unito
1 Swan Walk, Chelsea, London SW3 4JJ, Regno Unito
Shelley Court, 56 Tite St, Chelsea, London SW3 4JB, Regno Unito
10 Sterling St, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1HN, Regno Unito
7 Trevor Square, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DT, Regno Unito
37 Holland St, Kensington, London W8 4LX, Regno Unito
98 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N, Regno Unito
Highgate Cemetery, Swain's Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ, Regno Unito
Hall–Carpenter Archives, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH, Regno Unito
Marguerite Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) was an English poet and author. She is best known for the novel The Well of Loneliness, a groundbreaking work in lesbian literature. A number of novels were published in the years after the First World War, which tackled the theme of lesbianism and brought the issue to a wider audience. The most influential of these was Radclyffe Hall's novel The Well of Loneliness, published in 1928, whose trial and subsequent banning for obscenity was the subject of widespread press attention. The decade also saw the formation of explicitly lesbian communities such as the expatriate lesbian community of the Parisian left bank, while individual self-identified lesbians, including Radclyffe Hall and the artist Gluck, employed clothing and mannerism to express themselves as lesbian. The Well of Loneliness depicted the experiences of a female invert, Stephen Gordon, in a hostile society.
After meeting Una Troubridge in 1915, Radclyffe Hall discovered the happy irony that there could be greater freedom in a lesbian relationship than in a sanctioned alliance.
As a financially independent woman, Radclyffe Hall could afford to risk social disapproval by being open about her sexuality, and she began to do so as soon as she reached maturity. However, it was not until 1918, when she began her lifelong relationship with Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, the former wife of Lord Admiral Troubridge, that Hall's lesbianism became notorious. As the wife of an admiral, Una Troubridge held an important social position, and her desertion of her husband for a woman inevitably caused a scandal. However, as Laura Doan has stressed, mannish tailored fashions for women were the height of modern fashion in the 1920s and Radclyffe Hall was able to buy her masculine evening suits from the ladies' tailors at Harrods.
Associate of of Hall and her lover Una Troubridge included Gwen Farrar, an actor, who gave a dance in June 1923 at which they met Teddie Gerard. Troubridge, recalling her meeting with ‘John’, as Radclyffe Hall had been named by her first (female) lover, remembered the ‘rough country clothes; heavy short-skirted tweeds unusual in those days, collars and ties and … a queer little green Heath hat’. Troubridge herself was monocled and shingled and wore trousers.
Marguerite Radclyffe Hall was born in 1880 at "Sunny Lawn", Durley Road, Bournemouth, Hampshire (now Dorset), to a wealthy philandering father, Radclyffe Radclyffe-Hall, and an unstable mother, Mary Jane Diehl. Her stepfather was the professor of singing Albert Visetti, whom she did not like and who had a tempestuous relationship with her mother. Hall was a lesbian and described herself as a "congenital invert", a term taken from the writings of Havelock Ellis and other turn-of-the-century sexologists. Having reached adulthood without a vocation, she spent much of her twenties pursuing women she eventually lost to marriage.
In 1907 at the Bad Homburg spa in Germany, Hall met Mabel Batten, a well-known amateur singer of lieder. Batten (nicknamed "Ladye") was 51 to Hall's 27, and was married with an adult daughter and grandchildren. They fell in love, and after Batten's husband died they set up residence together. Batten gave Hall the nickname John, which she used the rest of her life.
Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge at the Ladies' Kennel Club Dog Show, Ranelagh, 1920
Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubrigde at Crufts, 1923
Radclyffe Hall in The Bookman, May 1927
Radclyffe Hall 1918 Charles A. Buchel (1872–1950) National Portrait Gallery, London
Mrs George Batten Singing by John Singer Sargent. It was later willed by Mabel Batten to her lover, Radclyffe Hall.
Sunny Lawn, 6 Durley Rd, Bournemouth
In 1915 Hall fell in love with Mabel Batten's cousin Una Troubridge (1887–1963), a sculptor who was the wife of Vice-Admiral Ernest Troubridge, and the mother of a young daughter. When Batten died in 1916, Hall had Batten's corpse embalmed and a silver crucifix blessed by the pope laid on it. Hall, Batten and Troubridge were "undeterred by the Church's admonitions on same-sex relationships. Hall's Catholicism sat beside a life-long attachment to spiritualism and reincarnation." In 1917, Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge began living together. From 1924 to 1929 they lived at 37 Holland Street, Kensington, London.
When Mary Allen and Helen Tagart were introduced to Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge in 1930, Troubridge recorded in her diary that Allen thought "the authorities were against her because she was an invert."
The relationship of Hall and Una Troubridge would last until Hall's death. In 1934 Hall fell in love with Russian émigrée Evguenia Souline and embarked upon a long-term affair with her, which Troubridge painfully tolerated. Hall became involved in affairs with other women throughout the years.
Hall lived with Troubridge in London and, during the 1930s, in the tiny town of Rye, East Sussex, noted for its many writers, including her contemporary the novelist E. F. Benson. At Rye there were several lesbian households nearby, among them Edith Craig living with Christopher St. John (aka Christabel Marshall ) and Clare "Tony" Atwood; Lady Maud Warrender and Marcia van Dresser; and Mary Allen, pioneer policewoman, with Miss Taggart.
Mary Renault described reading The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall aloud to her lover accompanied by rather heartless laughter, while on holiday ina French fishing village in 1938. The Well of Loneliness, she claimed, carried an impermissible allowance of self-pity, and its earnest humourlessness invites irreverence.
Hall died at age 63 of colon cancer, and is interred at Highgate Cemetery in North London at the entrance of the chamber of the Batten family, where Mabel is buried as well.
In 1930, Hall received the Gold Medal of the Eichelbergher Humane Award. She was a member of the PEN club, the Council of the Society for Psychical Research and a fellow of the Zoological Society. Radclyffe Hall was listed at number sixteen in the top 500 lesbian and gay heroes in The Pink Paper.
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