Runnymede Books

Runnymede is an imaginary town where the main characters in the Runnymede series that has been authored by Rita Mae Brown. The earliest of the four books, Six of One, has been published for the first time by the Bantam publication house in 1978. Because of the topics discussed within the novels, the series is classified as a classic lesbian fiction.

Order of Runnymede Series

# Read Title Published
1 Six of One 1978
2 Bingo 1988
3 Loose Lips 1999
4 The Sand Castle 2008
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Runnymede is a small town in Maryland which is situated exactly on the Mason-Dixon line. In Six of One, the story trails the daily life of independent women living in Runnymede, particularly the Hunsenmeir sisters, Julia and Louise, and others such as Fannie Jump Creighton and Celeste Chalfonte.

The books are centered in general on the activities of the eccentric sisters who have never left each other’s side despite their constant bickering concerning almost every topic under the sun. The series depicts Southern women who live colorful lives while staying true to themselves.

The author’s representation of women born in the 20th century is truly rich and interesting. Rita Mae Brown has indeed proven her wit and wisdom through the Runnymede series.

RUNNYMEDE AWARDS:

The greatest achievement that the Runnymede Series has attained is having the second book, Bingo, nominated in the 1989 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.

BEST RUNNYMEDE BOOKS:

There is no doubt in mind that every novel in the Runnymede series is comparable to Rita Mae Brown, who is filled with character and exuberance.

Nevertheless, the best Runnymede book is Six of One, because this has opened everyone’s eyes about the simple truth that queer people do exist and that being one is nothing to be ashamed of. The story goes backward and forward from when Louise and Julia were still young in the 1920s and when they are in their senior years. The novel shows them as the type of women who will basically ask for a good explanation prior to committing to anything – or anyone. The lives that Celeste and Fannie lead are highly incredible as well. They are amusing gals who recognize the things they want and need, and can go the extra mile to achieve them.

The second excellent novel from the Runnymede series is Bingo. For the Southern sisters, Louise and Julia, only their ages have changed, but their ways are still the same. This time around, the narration has been done by Nickel Smith, a non-closeted lesbian newspaper editor who happens to have a illicit affair with a married man. She is also a legal adopted daughter of Julia, and Louise is her aunt. These two ladies, apart from keeping Nickel’s activities under their radar, see attending the weekly bingo in Runnymede as their form of enjoyment. Yet, the entire town will see the Hunsenmeir sister battling against one another in order to get the full attention of the newcomer named Ed Tutweiler Walters, a gentleman who is approximately 10 years their junior. It is fascinating to know what Nickel’s mother’s reaction will be when she learns of her daughter’s secret relationship, and who can win Mr. Walters over.

The words ‘women empowerment’ do not have to be written all over Loose Lips, the third book in the series, to realize how strong both Louise and Julia are. This is a successive literary piece that goes back to the period when the United States has been preparing for the second World War. The rivalry of the two remains to be evident in this novel, since one of the many public fights they have had ended up with shattered store glasses to pay for. However, it has given them the opportunity to put up their own salon which often doubles as the town’s gossip center. The sisters are middle-aged in this book, and it has shed some light as to how and why Julia has adopted Nickel. They are portrayed too as married women who have faced a few hardships in life but are capable of getting back up mightier than ever.

OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE:

If there is another book series that can be seen in line with the Runnymede series, that will be the “Beebo Brinker” series by Ann Bannon. Beebo’s story is set in the mid-1950 when the gay people still are afraid to out their sexual preference, in fear of getting shunned and discriminated in public. Also, the “Kate Delafield” series of Katherine V. Forrest takes a detective spin on lesbian fiction, which the Runnymede fans also appreciate. The novels are about the crimes that Kate Delafield investigates. This is one of the pioneering series in the lesbian mystery genre, since it has been released in 1984.