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About the Author
Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943) was an English poet and novelist. Born to a wealthy English father and an American mother in Bournemouth, Hampshire, Hall was left a sizeable fortune following her parents' separation in 1882. Raised in a troubled environment, Hall struggled to gain financial independence from her mother and stepfather. As she took control of her inheritance, Hall began dressing in men's clothing and identifying herself as a "congenital invert." In 1907, she began a relationship with amateur singer Mabel Batten, who encouraged Hall to pursue a career in literature. By 1917, she had fallen in love with sculptor Una Troubridge, a cousin of Batten's. After several poetry collections, Hall's second novel The Unlit Lamp (1924) was published, becoming a bestseller shortly thereafter. Adam's Breed (1926), a novel about an Italian waiter who abandons modern life, earned Hall the Prix Femina and the James Tait Black Prize, two of the most prestigious awards in world literature. In 1928, Hall's sixth novel, The Well of Loneliness, was published to widespread controversy for its depiction of lesbian romance. While an obscenity trial in the United Kingdom led to an order that all copies of the novel be destroyed, a lengthy trial in the United States eventually allowed the book's publication. Recognized as a pioneering figure in lesbian literature, Hall lived in London with Una Troubridge until her death at the age of 63.