A new book chronicling 2,000 years of same-sex love stories, from Alexander the Great to the latest Literary Award winner, makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Days of Love, created and Edited by Elisa Rolle, makes inspiring reading and lays to rest the myth that LGBT couples are not capable of sustaining life-long relationships.
Packed full of beautiful photos and illustrations it lovingly features the personal stories of 700 LGBT couples from the dawn of history to the present day. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of the families they have started together.
Days of Love is also a great source of LGBT trivia and stories that have all-too-often been written out of history. For example, did you know that Sir Isaac Newton, who laid the foundation for modern physics, may have had a relationship with a Swiss mathematician, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier? That the British author of 2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke had a 23-year partnership with a male Sri Lankan teenager, and they are buried together? This is only a fraction of the fascinating facts that you can discover.
One of the British couples featured in the book are Matthew Bugg and Tobias Oliver. The couple who live in Sheffield and run the theatre company Mr Bugg Presents – producers of hit show Miss Nightingale the musical – will celebrate their 21st anniversary on the 17th February this year.
What comes across is an alternative cultural history of LGBT people. As we celebrate growing social acceptability and the increasing introduction same-sex marriage, we are reminded that many people past and present paved the way for our civil rights, not the least of which is the right to love whoever we want.
Elisa Rolle explains in the introduction to Days of Love why she decided to compile this book: “I have always liked love stories, and to me, even if you only spent one day in blissful happiness, then it was a love story. I see the following pages like a family photo album, the enlarged LGBT family sharing their memories: you will read about couples who managed to stay together for more than 70 years, but also those who were able to have only some days of happiness.”
A successful, multi-lingual career woman, Elisa Rolle’s job takes her all around the world, yet she somehow manages to find time to review books, write articles and interview authors for her site. Her website — http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/ — is one of the most comprehensive online journals dedicated solely to LGBT literature, art, and film. She also founded ‘Rainbow Awards’, an online annual awards event that judges hundreds of LGBT titles in dozens of categories.