'And then, usually, if one is not a girl one is a heroine—of the kind you read about. But I am not a heroine, either. A heroine is beautiful—eyes like the sea shoot opaque glances from under drooping lids—walks with undulating movements, her bright smile haunts one still, falls methodically in love with a man—always with a man, and on special occasions her voice is full of tears. I do none of these things. I am not beautiful. I do not walk with undulating movements—indeed, I have never seen any one walk so, except, perhaps, a cow that has been overfed. My bright smile haunts no one. I shoot no opaque glances from my eyes, which are not like the sea by any means. And my voice has never]yet, to my knowledge, been full of tears.'
Originally titled I Await The Devil's Coming, 'The Story of Mary MacLane' was published in 1901 and scandalised a nation -- though that didn't stop hundreds of thousands of copies selling out instantly. MacLane's memoir is unapologetic and raw, frankly detailing her attraction to women, her emotional love affair with the devil, and her profound self-confidence. 'The Story of Mary MacLane' is a foundational text in queer and feminist history well deserving of rediscovery.