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This groundbreaking, critical anthology gathers together a wide range of primary source material on lesbian lives in the past. The material here is drawn from a diverse range of sources, including court records, newspaper reports, literary sources, writings on lesbianism from psychologists, doctors, anthropologists, as well as personal letters and journals. The sources are arranged into thematic chapters, covering topics such as archetypes of lesbians - cross-dressing women and romantic friends, the making of lesbianism in culture, professional discourse on lesbians, public perceptions of lesbianism and women's own experiences. This book will be a milestone in the publishing of lesbian history, and is set to provoke the impetus for fresh research.