Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturday life (Radclyffe Hall)

Radclyffe Hall's Well of loneliness is a classic, and one which I found to be an interesting read, so I was keen to read more of her VMCs. A Saturday life seemed like a good title; I have worked every other Saturday for the last 2.5 years, so in a sense my Saturday life has been a working one for a while, but I am about to give this up and regain a proper Saturday life! Today is my first Saturday of freedom, so in preparation I thought I'd read this.

In someways similar to the Well of loneliness - the theme of an isolated, confused creative female trying to make her way in life, A Saturday life was a much lighter read. I was hooked from the beginning when I met the heroine Sidonia (such an unusual name!) as a child; in the first pages, her mother interuppted from the book that she is writing to come and attend to her eight-year-old daughter who refuses to stop dancing naked in the dining room! Her mother decides dance lessons are the answer, but Sidonia is not encouraged to come back after telling the other children that she prefers dancing without her clothes on. The story follows Sidonia as she grows up - she takes up sculpture, singing, and then goes to Florence.

In some ways I found the ending of the story disappointing; after such an unconventional growing up and early adulthood, Sidonia gets married and the last pages of the book see her giving birth to a child. It suggests that she has finally settled down which would be a tragedy given the creativity that she has displayed. On the other hand, given the rest of the book, one wonders how long it will last, and if so how her husband and son will cope once the bliss and sensibility of new motherhood wears off.

I have the Unlit Lamp and Adam's Breed to read to complete my Radclyffe Hall VMCs. This one was just published the once by Virago with an original green cover.



  1. This sounds very interesting and slightly peculiar! Very appropriate for your first Saturday of freedom - I hope you are enjoying it.

  2. I read this book a few months ago and adored it - particularly the character of Sidonia's sculpture tutor whose name I can't remember for the life of me!

  3. Claire - it was slightly peculiar, but in a good way :) Had a lovely first Saturday.

    A bookish space - have yo uread any more Hall?

  4. The only other Hall I have read is the Well of Lonliness, which was about 5 years ago!