Story: Lesbian lives

Romantic friendships

Romantic friendships

In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was socially acceptable for women to have romantic, physically close friendships with one another. Some of these relationships were passionate without being sexual, while others may have involved sexual intimacy. These two women, holding hands and entwined in the boughs of a severely pruned tree, are representative of this type of relationship.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, H. R. Eastcott Collection
Reference: 1/2-094740-G

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Alison J. Laurie, 'Lesbian lives - Early relationships and networks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2024)

Story by Alison J. Laurie, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 15 Aug 2018