Blog Tour: The Love That Dares by Rachel Smith & Barbara Vesey

A good love letter can speak across centuries, and reassure us that the agony and the ecstasy one might feel today have been shared by lovers long gone. In The Love That Dares, queer love speaks its name through a wonderful selection of surviving letters between lovers and friends, confidants and companions.

Alongside the more famous names coexist beautifully written letters by lesser-known lovers. Together, they weave a narrative of queer love through the centuries, through the romantic, often funny, and always poignant words of those who lived it.

What I Thought:

I’m quite taken with collections of personal letters. Perhaps it’s my nosiness, but there’s something fascinating about what people reveal in their correspondence.

In The Love That Dares, Rachel Smith and Barbara Vesey have lovingly and sympathetically compiled a selection of letters that illustrate not only queer love stories, but the day-to-day lives of queer people through the ages.

Although all of the letters will strike a chord, the most poignant I think are those that were sent at a time when their very existence could have landed the letter writer in prison – love is love, as the saying goes.

There are letters from famous figures here, blended with those from people who might not have been in the public eye, but still paved their own way in their personal lives. It’s a sweet and touching collection which is taken from the Special Collection of LGBTQ+ letters housed at the Bishopsgate Institute.

The book also comes with an invitation – if you would like to contribute your own letters to this collection that celebrates the history of LGBTQ+ love and lovers, you can contact the Library there for more information.

The Love That Dares is published by Ilex Press.

This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate The Love That Dares. Check out the blogs and Instagram below for more reviews and exclusive content.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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