while offering non-homosexuals a sympathetic world where heterosexuality was neither the only, nor the dominant, sexual type.
's writing has been acclaimed by critics past and present:
has called her one of the most creative historical novelists of our era and the only bona fide Hellenist in twentieth-century fiction.
Aside from her fiction,
wrote several short stories, articles, and introductions.
, who published her first book in 1939, is best known for her historical novels, and is also noted for her strong interest in same-sex love. In her present-day novels, a large proportion of characters have sexually-ambiguous names which reflect the ambivalence of their orientations. Biographer
claims that her historical novels helped many people to come to terms with their sexuality, giving lesbians and male homosexuals a historical past