Posts Tagged ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’

Chronicle of Higher Education

JUNE 27, 1997

‘THREE IN LOVE’  The History of the Menage a Trois

By Christopher Shea

“The chains of marriage are so heavy it takes two to bear them, sometimes three.”  -Alexandre Dumas

Henry and June Miller and Anais Nin might take the prize for most famous literary menage a trois, but they were together for only one charged moment in Paris before flaming out. And while the menage may have fueled the creativity of Nin and Henry Miller, the two writers in the group, when it came time to pen the story of their affair they sat down at their desks alone.

Now New York has produced another high-profile, literary menage a trois: a trio, including a librarian at Hunter College, a novelist and historian, and an alternative health expert. Barbara Foster, a librarian who specializes in women’s studies at Hunter; Michael Foster, her husband of 28 years; and Letha Hadady–at first a fling of his, now a comfortable member of the “family”-come roaring out of the closet with Three in Love: Menages a Trois from Ancient to Modern Times (HarperSanFrancisco/iUniverse).  The three co-authors call it a “triography.” It’s a 400 page romp through the racy side of history, featuring famous figures who spent their nights three-a-bed, and marriages in which a mistress became, essentially, a part of the household. They offer only a few details of their own relationship, but their work follows the logic of “identity scholarship” perfectly: Who better to write about menages a trois than a menage?

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