Captivating letters, published in their entirety, that document almost thirty years of love between two women of the Gilded Age.
"You are mine, and I am yours, and we are one, and our lives are one henceforth, please God, who can alone separate us. I am bold to say this, to pray and to live by it."--Rose Cleveland to Evangeline Simpson, May 6, 1890
In 1890, Rose Cleveland, sister of President Grover Cleveland, began writing to Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy widow who would become the second wife of Henry Whipple, Minnesota's Episcopal bishop. The women corresponded across states and continents, discussing their advocacy and humanitarian work--and demonstrating their sexual attraction, romance, and partnership. In 1910, after Evangeline Whipple was again widowed, the two women sailed to Italy and began a life together.
The letters, most written in Cleveland's dramatic, quirky style, guide readers through new love, heartbreak, and the rekindling of a committed relationship. Additional correspondence by the women': s friends and relatives supplies valuable perspectives. An introduction and annotations by editors Lizzie Ehrenhalt and Tilly Laskey provide the context for same-sex relationships at the time, discuss the women's social and political circles, and explain references to friends, family, and historical events.
After Rose Cleveland's death, Evangeline Whipple described her as "my precious and adored life-long friend." This collection, rare in its portrayal of LGBTQ nineteenth-century history, brings their poignant story back to life.