Just Take Your Frock Off by Barbara Bell

cover of the book Just Take Your Frock OffJust Take Your Frock Off by Barbara Bell
Genre: Biography
Copyright Year:
Published: 1999
Publisher: Ourstory Books
Format: Paperback
No. of Pages: 192
No. In Series:
ISBN: 9780953588008
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The daughter of a mill worker in Lancashire, Barbara Bell had her lesbian ‘initiation’ the year after Radclyffe Hall’s The Well Of Loneliness (1928). Since then, she has never had the time to be lonely. Her Uncle Jack was the first in a long line of gay men who befriended her – one workmate even taught her about French kissing in the lunchbreaks. But always Barbara was on the look-out for women like herself. She found them in Girl Guide camps, Paris clubs, Park Lane tea rooms, Hitler’s Germany, London in the Blitz, a Watford approved school and a Nigerian village. She had two lesbian ‘marriages’ but also illicit and delicious little ‘flutters’. She was butch in tailored suits and femme in crocheted lace. In a silent world she learned to be discreet but she never turned her back on love. Living in Brighton in the early sixties, Barbara zoomed round the countryside in a sportscar, counselling heart-broken lesbians. Gay liberation ushered in a world of more freedom than she could ever have imagined when she was young. In her seventies she started ‘buddying’ men and women with AIDS and wore a red hat to their funerals. Familiar to viewers of BBC2’s It’s Not Unusual, Barbara Bell here tells the full story of her extraordinary life and times.
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