Sometimes they lived underground: Catharina Linck dressed as a man, travelled around Germany’s provinces and married her lover; their marriage lasted several years before she was found out and beheaded in 1721. Mathilde Franziska Anneke, who took part in the 1848 revolution, emigrated to America with her husband before discovering true love with a girlfriend. The writers Natalie Barney and Renée Vivien moved to Paris around 1900 and set up their own lesbian community there. In 1925, the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva also moved to the French capital, some time after her love-hate relationship with Sophia Parnok had ended. Erika Mann escaped from the National Socialists with her lover Therese Giehse, but their relationship did not survive Mann’s emigration to the USA. The journalist Dorothy Thompson and the author and animal sculptor Christa Winsloe also lived abroad for a long period in the nineteen-twenties and nineteen-thirties; and throughout her life the English composer Ethel Smyth sought in various European countries and as far away as Egypt for answers to the »great question of sexuality«. The anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict supplied answers based on the results of their research on remote cultures, but also on the experience of their own relationship. The book portrays women’s history through the lens of women’s relationships as they have been lived and understood in many variations over three centuries.
Angela Steidele on Catharina Margaretha Linck and Catharina Margaretha Mühlhahn
Joey Horsley on Mathilde Franziska Anneke
Birgit Kiupel on Ethel Smyth
Andrea Schweers on Renée Vivien and Natalie Clifford Barney
Diana Lewis Burgin on Marina Tsvetaevaund Sophia Parnok
Swantje Koch-Kanz and Luise F. Pusch on Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict
Doris Hermanns on Christa Winsloe and Dorothy Thompson
Christine Schmidt on Erika Mann
Joey Horsley, born in 1940, studied German at Harvard University and Tübingen, Ph.D. (Harvard) in 1970. Taught at the University of Massachusetts in Boston from 1968-2002, finally as an Associate Professor of German and Women`s Studies. Co-editor of »Berühmte Frauenpaare« (Famous female couples) with Luise F. Pusch (2004).
Luise F. Pusch, born in 1944, Professor of Linguistics and freelance journalist. Publications include: »Die Frau ist nicht der Rede wert« (Women are not worth talking about, 1999); »Alle Menschen werden Schwestern« (All people will be sisters, 1990); »Das Deutsche als Männersprache« (German as a male language, 1984)