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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Could this have been Naomi Mitchison?

Glancing through The International Journal of Sexology II/1, 1948, I noticed in the introduction by Norman Haire to a lengthy article by an anonymous young man, the claim that he had expurgated it of at least one Anglo-Saxon monosyllable which would have led to the suppression and prosecution of the journal, and adding:
I remember having to insist on the deletion of that same four-letter word from the text of a paper read, at the International Congress of the World League for Sexual Reform, held in London in 1929, by one of our leading women novelists--no, it was not Ethel Mannin.
Given that, in her discussion of sexual relations in The Home in a Changing World, Naomi Mitchison complained about the conventions that meant she could not speak as directly, clearly and forcefully as she would have liked due to linguistic restrictions, I wonder if she was the 'leading woman novelist' in question (since I can't imagine Vera Brittain, who also presented at the WLSR Congress, ever even thinking of such a thing).

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