(Originally aired 2018/05/19 - listen here)
Heather Rose Jones: This week, Jeannelle M. Ferreira, author of the lesbian regency romance, The Covert Captain, joins us again to talk about some of her favorite reads that feature queer women in history. Welcome back, Jeannelle.
Jeannelle M. Ferreira: Hi, thank you again for having me. I thought and thought about my favorite historicals and if you love Regency romances, you can't do much better than Spring Flowering by Farah Mendlesohn. It's super, super faithful to the light and sweet Georgette Heyer standards. I just love it so much. I kept harking back to it because, you know? You can do this, you can do a lesbian regency, and people love it. I also like Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue. It was a very germinal work for me because it was the first time that I sort of saw the alternative historical setting. They're short stories, I think every single one has a queer woman and at least a briefly mentioned romance between women. Emma Donoghue is now mostly known for her novel Room I think. Which doesn't have queer content, but I still have her down in my head as one of the best writers of queer historicals. She nails every detail even when it's a fantastic setting.
H: I first encountered her as a writer of history books! Her works on queer women in history, from the historical point of view, are some of my favorites.
J: Oh yeah, she has Passions Between Women and We are Michael Field. Passions Between Women—if you don't have that text and you're at all a queer historian now, you really should. But that's not fiction, I wrote down some fiction. I did my assignment. So, I was really pleased in 2014 when your book came out, Daughter of Mystery, I liked that one. And if you want something completely different, I really like Jae's Backwards to Oregon and its sequel. It is about hot lesbian ranchers, but it's also very very plausible. You have to get to the Old West somehow and that's just fraught with danger and I think someone even gets their period. Someone on the Oregon Trail gets their period while they're passing as a man, I think. Nobody ever goes there, that's awesome. [laughing] It's an awesome duology of books. I think duology is two. Duet? I don't know.
H: Yeah, duology. I think there's even more than that. ‘Cause I think there's a third book that continues on next-generation characters or something. I'm not sure, I haven't read them but you pick up these details.
J: I have the two first ones in actual paper/tree book on my bookshelf and I cherish them. It's not explicit queer content but Rosemary Kirstein's The Steerswoman books to me are some of the most amazing fantasy for queers even if I'm only coding it for queers. And I love it, so I say it's queer.
H: Yeah, they get recommended a lot to me as... Well, it's very peculiar. It has a fantasy flavor but a science fiction underpinning and lots and lots of very strong female relationships. I've got them sitting on my iPad, I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. The to-be-read list is so long.
J: Yeah, my to-be-read list is pretty deep. And I think that she is also working on one of those. Sometimes writing is at the 'please don't tap the glass' stage of process, [Heather laughs] so definitely the three that are out there are good. So, those are my picks.
H: Yay, that sounds like a pretty good shelf to work on. Thank you so much Jeannelle for sharing those books with us, of course I'll include links to all the titles in the show notes.
J: Wonderful, thank you so much.
In the Book Appreciation segments, our featured authors (or your host) will talk about one or more favorite books with queer female characters in a historic setting.
Links to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Online
Links to Heather Online
Links to Jeannelle M. Ferreira Online