Dr. Ronald A. Smith, a well-know sport historian and emeritus professor at Penn State University, has published several books including the most cited Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics and an edited diary belonging to the subject of these love letters, Big-Time Football at Harvard, 1905: The Diary of Coach Bill Reid. Bill Reid had another side to his life, however—a passionate one in which he and Christine, his girlfriend, fiancé, and wife, exchanged intimate love letters for well over a decade. The revealed sexual nature of their letters during the late Victorian period and early twentieth century from when they first met, through their engagement, and especially after their marriage and the first three children, are rare and distinguish them from other collections. The explicit love letters of upper-middle and upper class individuals are an exceptional find, and they broach issues between couples that are almost universal, often appearing timeless. The love letters of Bill and Christine not only illuminate aspects of life in the early twentieth century, but also make us reflect on our own lives.
"This book is a treasure trove of historical evidence. Historians have long been busy trying to decide what exactly the Victorians thought about sex, and this is no small body of evidence that supports the views of many that, far from being repressed, some Victorians were quite outspoken about the pleasures of the body.
A mustâ€read for women’s historians as well as historians of sexuality and American culture."
Dr. Benjamin Wise, History Professor at the University of Gainesville
“I’m fascinated by the interesting layers in this story, . . . and it has me inspired.”
Sunil Kuruvilla, playwright and author of “Rice Boy,” recently playing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario.
“The editing of the letters and keeping the context of what was happening in the lives of these love birds fall from grace was masterful.”
Joann Leonard, novelist and author of “The Soup Has Many Eyes,” and “All the World’s a Stage.”