Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: Lesbian Intimacies and Family Life

19 March 2024, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Book Cover and author's portrait

Join us for the launch of Rebecca Jennings's new book 'Lesbian Intimacies and Family Life: Desire, domesticity and kinship in Britain and Australia, 1945-2000'

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students






Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Forum (G17)
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Taking a transnational perspective, Lesbian Intimacies and Family Life: Desire, domesticity and kinship in Britain and Australia, 1945-2000 (Bloomsbury, 2023) traces the relationship models and familial patterns constructed by lesbians and same-sex attracted women living in Britain and Australia between 1945 and 2000. Combining personal stories with analysis of representations of lesbian intimacy in literature, press articles, medical texts, and archival material, the book demonstrates the ways in which changing political and cultural concepts of sexuality impacted on individual and collective attitudes, highlighting the huge variety in women’s experiences. Through considering histories of lesbian desire within marriage and the experience of lesbian mothers in divorce courts, this book shows how lesbian relationships provided alternative models of interpersonal relations, impacting on broader patterns of sexuality, and helping redefine notions of the family in the modern era.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (UCL History). She will be joined by Professor Matt Cook (Jonathan Cooper Professor of the History of Sexualities, Mansfield College, Oxford) and Professor Alison Oram (Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research) who will comment on the book and its significance for the field.  

For more information about the book visit www.bloomsbury.com.


About the Speaker

Rebecca Jennings

at UCL Department of History

Rebecca completed her PhD at the University of Manchester, where she taught for a few years before taking up a research fellowship at Macquarie University, Sydney. After moving back to the UK she joined UCL History, where she was a teaching fellow for some years before being appointed lecturer in 2018. She teaches on the history of gender and sexuality in modern Britain. Her research focuses on twentieth-century British and Australian lesbian history and she is the author of Tomboys and Bachelor Girls: A lesbian history of post-war Britain (2007); A Lesbian History of Britain: Love and sex between women since 1500 (2007); and Unnamed Desires: A Sydney lesbian history (2015).

More about Rebecca Jennings