Allysse reviews Sapphistires: A global history of love between women by Leila J. Rupp

Sapphistires: A global history of love between women

By Leila J. Rupp

Sapphistires: A global history of love between women is a non-fiction book that aims to take the reader through the history of love between woman from all era and all places. Leila J. Rupp succeeds quite well in doing that. Her perspective is truly global as all part of the world are mentioned at some point in the book. I found this book to be a good introduction to this topic. I barely knew anything about it, especially about what happened/is happening outside of the western world and I found the book to give a good overview of things.

As you can imagine there is not a great deal of written information about love between woman in the past, but it didn’t stop the author from mentioning all eras. When there are no historical evidences she uses myths, legends, and stories to tell what might have been. I like the use of those stories to illustrate possible past. Of course, for an academic book it isn’t very well regarded to have no proof of what is said, but the author does make it clear that she uses myths, legends, and stories as a guiding point and that it is not necessarily the truth, just one possibility of truth.

The title is made vague on purpose. The author tries to include as many sort of relationships as possible and not label any of them. The chapter about naming and labeling was in that regard extremely interesting. The author tries to tell a story of love/desire/sex for other woman in whatever form possible. She uses women in a biological term. I did think that for a few cases she mentioned it might have been a story of transexuals but history doesn’t give us the luxury to know how people identified themselves at the time. They didn’t have the plethora of labels we had and very rarely left any evidence of how they felt. The author did address this question in the book.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was easy to read and comprehend and the text flowed easily. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting a general introduction to love/desire/sex between women.