Lesbian pulp? Golden Age? Who knew?
Those truly awesome photos come from Yale University’s Beinecke Library, Room 26, the “Cabinet of Curiosities,” Lesbian Pulp Novels, 1935-1965.
The Yale Library blog on this subject reads, in part:
The genre’s so-called Golden Age was but a small segment of the paperback phenomena that swept America during and after World War Two. Beginning with Pocket Books’ 1939 birth, paperback publishers capitalized on their established magazine distribution networks to sell pulp fiction on rotating racks in drugstores and gas stations around the country. The postwar paperback trade was, in some ways, an organic continuation of the pulp press—penny dreadfuls, comic books, and magazines of sensational serialized fiction—that had flourished fitfully from the turn of the century. Yet it is an error to read postwar paperbacks as merely derivative. Small enough to fit into a back pocket, these slim fictional volumes were nothing short of a new cultural medium. They were printed and sold cheaply, so readers could, in pulp author Ann Bannon’s estimation, afford to enjoy a book on the bus and leave it on the seat. The content, however, was enthralling enough to make the tiny tomes worth holding onto. Though sometimes reprints—resulting, incongruously, in The Iliad jazzed up with a breathless blurb and a sultry dame—postwar paperbacks were often original novels that heralded the birth of new genres.