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A Gay History of Britain : Love and Sex Between Men Since the Middle Ages (Hardcover)

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The book explores the changing ways in which male-male sex and love have been perceived and experienced from the late Anglo-Saxon period to the present. Celebrated figures, such as Richard Lionheart, whose love for Philip Augustus of France was so well-documented, Oscar Wilde, subject of the most explosive scandal of the Victorian period, and Derek Jarman, the great artist and chronicler of the age of AIDS, are examined alongside little-known figures: Eleanor/John Rykener, a cross-dresser in Chaucer's England, the mollies of eighteenth-century London, the habituants of underground gay bars and cafes in 1930s Manchester and Brighton, and the newly-confident gays of contemporary Britain, who marry, adopt children and command the increasingly powerful 'pink pound'. Drawing on a fabulous wealth of research, the authors - each an expert in his field - have worked closely together to deliver a powerful, highly-readable and eye-opening history of love and desire between men in Britain. The book is chronologically structured, with six chapters covering the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods; the Reformation and Renaissance; the eighteenth century; the nineteenth century; the period 1914 - 1967; and finally 1967 to the present. Each of these chapters examines subcultures and concepts of identity, discusses major controversies and scandals, and looks at church and state attempts at regulation. Particular places significant for sexual and social contact are highlighted, showing how subcultures of male-male sex and love were not always marginal, and were sometimes closely aligned to the establishment and the social and cultural elite. The book also charts the changing language of same-sex love andsex, and assesses the impact of social and cultural change on the way men were able to relate to one another. How, for example, did the coming of the railways, or the development of the internet, change the nature of homophile relations? Though it will indicate shared understandings and experiences, the book also shows that the gay history of Britain is far from seamless: in different periods, and different places at the same historical moment, men expressed their love and desire for one another in a variety of ways. Likewise, reactions, institutional or otherwise, ranged from tacit or explicit acceptance to draconian repression. Broad in its coverage but nuanced in its detail - including never-before-seen illustrations - A Gay History of Britain is the new standard history of the subject.


Publisher Greenwood Pub Group
Mfg Part# 9781846450020
SKU 203968381
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 1846450020
Release Date 6/1/2007
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