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Summary

The Well of Loneliness will go down in history as one of the world’s first published novels to depict a lesbian relationship. 

After publication in 1928, it was banned for obscenity before going on to become an international best seller. 

It tells the story of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman from an upper-class family who is ostracised for falling in love with another woman, Mary Llewellyn. 

Groundbreaking in its day, Radclyffe Hall’s novel ultimately makes a very clear plea in regards to homosexuality: 'Give us also the right to our existence'.  

In this exclusive production, Audible’s breakout star Ell Potter (Winter Dark, Winter Rising) breathes new life into the classic novel.

Public Domain (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Behind the scenes

Ell Potter on recording during lockdown.
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What listeners say about The Well of Loneliness

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Masterpieces

This book is or will be for some ppl a hard to go truth since its may be depressing too sad or well its has no happy ending as the title of the book saying but the book was written with a purpose - a plea, if you like, that is expressed very openly in the closing chapters. As an example of cultural history or changes in society and attitudes, it is a fantastic read because it contains a lot of information about British upper-middle class society of the early 20th century. This is a great read .
Ell Potter what can i say this was the first book i heard from Ell and i am 100% happy with the performance she is fantastic.

11 people found this helpful

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Deeply affecting!

I first read this forty years ago and loved it then as much as I do re-reading it now.
Beautifully written, the sort of book that I like to listen to in small chunks so that I can make it last longer and savour every deliciously descriptive chapter for as long as possible.
Sympathetically and cleverly read by the narrator, although the Irish accent is a little off.
Romantic and tragic, insightful and meaningful, an enjoyable and educational must-read for anyone intrigued by social history and attitudes towards homosexuality.
A treasure and of my top ten favourites!

8 people found this helpful

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Sad but enlightening

A lovely, well written story. The main characters are denied happiness at every turn partly because of their own self recriminations and those that are heaped upon them by society in general. Not satisfied with the ending but I suppose it is a reflection of the time and as much as you would like to change the past all you can do is observe and learn from the pieces leftover. This book is one of those pieces.

4 people found this helpful

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Boring

I didn't even finish this audiobook as I found it very, very boring. The story seemed plain and unmoving.

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Beautifully written.

This book was like poetry in pros! The narrator was perfect reading it to create the pictures the writer had intended. A true classic.

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impossible

to imagine the pain anxiety depression fear loneliness rebuke and so so much more, of anyone even now told who and how to love, to hide feelings. written almost 100yrs ago this portrayal of a life in the wrong body can (and probably should) be very harrowing yet tender, a wonderful exposey of history and attitude. Ell Potter delivers powerful narration capturing my attention for long hrs into the night. those who read or are lesbian romance fans need this story to accept and be thankful for the groundbreaking novelists, but also for thier past sisters suffering to empower basic rights to love whom ever they please.

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Slow burn, lingering embers

The first four or five chapters were a bit of a struggle, and I used it mainly to fall asleep to. But then it picks up the pace, and I started to be too engrossed in the story to drift off to sleep. Quite fond of the narrator's voice.

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Genius!!

Absolute excellence a book written and narrated unlike nothing I’ve ever read from the perspective of a black woman who’s own sexuality was and is still in many ways suppressed. I felt every right that was denied by the characters yet cannot even fathom such oppression in a time where visibility of equality was so far away. The book was enlightening, engaging though so very sad.


I enjoyed reading it for lack of a better word😢

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  • Dawn
  • 09-09-20

More Ell Potter as narrator!

Ell Potter has a wonderful soothing voice- but also can do so many different characters! Are you sure there were not more actors ? The American woman Val sounds like an entirely different person! The story was a bit long and maybe slow in places , but used the time to develop the characters. I cried over Raftery! This book was written how long ago ? Yet still so relevant and I could relate to Stephen’s struggles even as a hetero woman of a certain age ! Very enjoyable listening!

3 people found this helpful

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  • AJ Holmes
  • 19-06-21

A TIMELESS CLASSIC!

Imagine growing up wanting to do everything society says you can't do and then, finding that there's no one else like you. Imagine living your entire life being truly loved by only one person and having only one true friend. As Stephen grows and learns in life, she is constantly gawked at for her androgynous look, which is weirdly appealing to some.

Stephen ultimately lives a pretty full life. She travels, fights in the war, falls in love, writes books and discovers that there are lots more people just like her. She has money and status but none of it comes without heartache, loss, and being ostracized from the only place she'd ever called home. Stephen takes it all in and is in utter disbelief that God would create her in such a way, that she and those like her are treated so cruelly by society. Her stance is bold, "We exist. Like everyone else, we were made by nature. Therefore we are natural."

This was a really great coming of age story and it truly highlights the struggles that homosexuals faced during that time period. We watch a baby grow into a woman who wants nothing more than to live her life freely being herself, doing as she pleases with her life and fosters no ill will towards anyone. However, because of the way she was created, she will never fully be accepted no matter what she does. The sad reality is, things aren't much different today.

1 person found this helpful