Lady Friends With Benefits

Women's romantic friendships and lifelong partnerships were common -- and acceptable -- in the Victorian era. Cristen and Caroline discuss how and why these so-called "Boston marriages" flourished and what was behind their early 20th-century demise.

Episode sources:

"A Brief History of Romantic Friendships." Brainpickings.

"Alice B. Toklas moves in permanently with Gertrude Stein." History.

"A Tale of Two Ladies Ahead of Their Time." Telegraph.

"Black Lesbians." Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements.

"Boston Marriages." Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume I.

"Boston Marriages: Romantic But Asexual Relationships Among Contemporary Lesbians." Rothblum, Esther D. and Kathleen A. Brehony. 1993.

"Charity and Sylvia: The Remarkable Story of How Two Women Married Each Other in Early America." Brainpickings.

"'Female Husbands' in the 19th Century." NPR.

"Michael Field." Poetry Foundation.

"Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in the Twentieth-Century America." Columbia University Press. 2012.

"Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson." The New York Times.

"Sarah Orne Jewett." PBS.

"Singing the Lesbian Blues in 1920s Harlem." Collector's Weekly.

"Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson." Emily Dickinson Museum.

"Women Who Love Women." The New York Times. "Boston Marriages."

Topics in this Podcast: sex, marriage, lgbt, women's colleges, same-sex relationships, lesbians