'Queer London' explores the underground gay culture of London during four decades when homosexual acts between consenting adults remained illegal. The author discovers how queer men made sense of their sexuality and how their lifestyles were affected by and in turn influenced the life of the metropolis.
A profile of homosexual life in London during the first half of the twentieth century looks at how London shaped the culture and politics of queer life and was in turn transformed by the lives of queer men, drawing on personal letters, diaries, newspaper articles, police reports, and other sources to reveal the real world of queer sexuality in the urban culture.
From tabloid exposes of child prostitution to the grisly tales of Jack the Ripper, narratives of sexual danger pulsated through Victorian London. Expertly blending social history and cultural criticism, Judith Walkowitz shows how these narratives reveal the complex dramas of power, politics, and sexuality that were being played out in late nineteenth-century Britain, and how they influenced the language of politics, journalism, and fiction. Victorian London was a world where long-standing traditions of class and gender were challenged by a range of public spectacles, mass media scandals, new commercial spaces, and a proliferation of new sexual categories and identities. In the midst of this changing culture, women of many classes challenged the traditional privileges of elite males and asserted their presence in the public domain. An important catalyst in this conflict, argues Walkowitz, was W. T. Stead's widely read 1885 article about child prostitution. Capitalizing on the uproar caused by the piece and the volatile political climate of the time, women spoke of sexual danger, articulating their own grievances against men, inserting themselves into the public discussion of sex to an unprecedented extent, and gaining new entree to public spaces and journalistic practices. The ultimate manifestation of class anxiety and gender antagonism came in 1888 with the tabloid tales of Jack the Ripper. In between, there were quotidien stories of sexual possibility and urban adventure, and Walkowitz examines them all, showing how women were not simply figures in the imaginary landscape of male spectators, but also central actors in the stories of metropolotin life that reverberated in courtrooms, learned journals, drawing rooms, street corners, and in the letters columns of the daily press. A model of cultural history, this ambitious book will stimulate and enlighten readers across a broad range of interests.
"In this vibrant new history, Phil Tiemeyer details the history of men working as flight attendants. Beginning with the founding of the profession in the late 1920s and continuing into the post-September 11 era, Plane Queer examines the history of men who joined workplaces customarily identified as female-oriented. It examines the various hardships these men faced at work, paying particular attention to the conflation of gender-based, sexuality-based, and AIDS-based discrimination. Tiemeyer also examines how this heavily gay-identified group of workers created an important place for gay men to come out, garner acceptance from their fellow workers, fight homophobia and AIDS phobia, and advocate for LGBT civil rights. All the while, male flight attendants facilitated key breakthroughs in gender-based civil rights law, including an important expansion of the ways that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act would protect workers from sex discrimination. Throughout their history, men working as flight attendants helped evolve an industry often identified with American adventuring, technological innovation, and economic power into a queer space."--Publisher's website.
Jerry White's London in the Twentieth Century, Winner of the Wolfson Prize, is a masterful account of the city’s most tumultuous century by its leading expert. In 1901 no other city matched London in size, wealth and grandeur. Yet it was also a city where poverty and disease were rife. For its inhabitants, such contradictions and diversity were the defining experience of the next century of dazzling change. In the worlds of work and popular culture, politics and crime, through war, immigration and sexual revolution, Jerry White’s richly detailed and captivating history shows how the city shaped their lives and how it in turn was shaped by them.
London and the Culture of Homosexuality explores the relationship between London and male homosexuality from the criminalization of all 'acts of gross indecency' between men in 1885 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 - years marked by an intensification in concern about male-male relationships and also by the emergence of an embryonic homosexual rights movement. Taking his cue from literary and lesbian and gay scholars, urban historians and cultural geographers, Matt Cook combines discussion of London's homosexual subculture and various major and minor scandals with a detailed examination of representations in the press, in science and in literature. The conjunction of approaches used in this study provides insights into the development of ideas about the modern homosexual and into the many different ways of comprehending and taking part in London's culture of homosexuality.
But who could describe my fright when, on the next morning, I awoke and found myself feeling as if completely changed into a woman. — Case 129, Autobiography, from Psychopathia Sexualis, a Medico-Forensic Study by Richard Von Krafft-Ebing At the time the passage above was written, people who felt trapped in the wrong gender automatically became case-studies. Today they become the men and women they always felt they were. Transsexuals test our notions of what it is to be male or female and, more provocatively, what it means to be one self as opposed to another. “Their stories,” says Jonathan Ames, “hold the appeal of an adventurer’s tale.” In Sexual Metamorphosis, Ames presents the personal narratives of seventeen gender pioneers. Here is Christine Jorgensen, the first celebrity transsexual, greeting thousands of well-wishers from the stage of Madison Square Garden. Here is Caroline Cossey, former model and Bond (as in James) girl, being outed in the tabloid press. Here is novelist and English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan discussing her impending transformation with her heartbroken spouse and supportive yet confused colleagues. The result is a fascinating and compulsively readable book, filled with anguish, introspection and courage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Did Britain's permissive society start with swinging London? This title challenges the sexual myth of the 1960s, arguing that its roots lay further back in the city's dramatic cultures of austerity and affluence that marked the post-war years. It focuses on sex and urban culture through a series of historical narratives.
At the end of World War II, the vast majority of people in France, living in small towns or rural areas, had suffered through a series of traumas - economic depression, war and occupation, the absence of millions of POWs, deportees and forced laborers, widespread destruction. The resultingdisruptions continued to reverberate in families for several years after the Liberation. In the decades following the war, France experienced radical economic and social transformations, becoming an urban, industrial, affluent nation. In less than thirty years, French ideas about gender and familylife underwent dramatic changes. This book provides a broad view of changing lives and ideas about love, courtship, marriage, giving birth, parenting, childhood, and adolescence in France from the Vichy regime to the sexual revolution of 1960s. To understand how such changes influenced ideas about family life, From Vichy to the Sexual Revolution explores inexpensive guide books on marriage, childbirth and parenting, advice columns and popular magazines directed at readers from a variety of backgrounds. Sarah Fishman puts these sources intocontext, by exploring juvenile court family case studies. She links economic and social changes to the evolution of thinking about gender, the self, and the family, throwing new light on the emergence of a new vision of the family, one based on dynamic relationships rather than a setstructure.
Sinners and Citizens explores how sexual habits changed in Sweden during its development from an agrarian society into a modern welfare state. Jens Rydström examines the history of homosexuality and bestiality in that country to consider why these sexual practices have been so closely linked in virtually all Western societies. He limns sharply the distinctive experience of rural life, showing that to regularly witness farm animals stirred passions and sparked ideas, especially among young farmhands. Based on medical journals, psychiatric reports, and court records from the period, as well as testimonies from men in diaries, letters, and interviews, Sinners and Citizens reveals that bestiality was once a dreaded crime in Sweden. But in time, mention of the practice disappeared completely from legal and medical debates. This, Rydström contends, is because models of penetrative sodomy shifted from bestiality to homosexuality as Sweden transformed from a rural society into a more urban one. As the nation's economy and culture became less identified with the countryside, so too did its idea of deviant sexual behavior.
Palgrave Advances in the Modern History of Sexuality offers a comprehensive and accessible overview of historical debate in the history of European and American sexuality since c. 1750. Each chapter explores in detail one theme, such as race, pornography, marriage, science or religion, which historians have seen as essential to writing the history of sexuality. The book therefore not only offers a broad introduction to the state of the art, but also suggests new directions for research and debate.
The first narrative history of its kind since 1970, A Gay History of Britain tells the extraordinary history of male-male sex and love in Britain, in all its diversity, from the Middle Ages to the present.
Sissy home boys or domestic outlaws? Through a series of vivid case studies taken from across the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Matt Cook explores the emergence of these trenchant stereotypes and looks at how they play out in the home and family lives of queer men.
Amiria Henare explores the role of material cultural research in anthropology and related disciplines from the late eighteenth century to the present.
A star debater at school, Norman Haire had always wanted to be an actor. Forced to study medicine, he followed his other passion: saving the world from sexual misery. When he arrived in London in 1919 he was a poor Jewish outsider from Australia. By 1930 he had a flourishing gynaecology practice in Harley Street, a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce and a country house. His parties were attended by the medical, intellectual and cultural elite. As a prominent sexologist and a campaigner for birth control, Haire took a leading role in the world's first international conference on birth control in 1922 and organised, with Dora Russell, the World League for Sexual Reform's highly successful 1929 Congress in London. He lectured in America, Germany, France and Spain, and wrote and edited many accessible books on sex education. In 1940 Haire returned to Australia where he attracted a loyal following, but was also hounded by the security service. The ABC Board was censured in parliament for choosing him as the key speaker in a population debate, and his weekly advice column in the magazine Woman was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church. Peter Coleman called Haire 'one of Australia's most famous freethinkers and sex reformers'. This biography pays a tribute to this tenacious, humane, witty, innovative and brave man's contribution to birth control, sexology and human rights history.
PRAISE FOR QUEER CITY “Always entertaining . . . much to be recommended.”—The Spectator “A nimble, uproarious pocket history of sex in his beloved metropolis.”—Independent “Ackroyd has an encyclopedic knowledge of London, and a poet’s instinct for its strange, mesmerizing drives and urges . . . Queer City contains something to alarm or fascinate on every page.”—The Mail on Sunday “Droll, provocative and crammed to busting with startling facts.”—The Guardian “Succinct, perceptive and robust.”—Daily Telegraph In Queer City, the acclaimed Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way–through the complete history and experiences of its gay and lesbian population. In Roman Londinium, the city was dotted with lupanaria (“wolf dens” or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels), and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks, and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure. Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music, and the horror of AIDS. Ackroyd reveals the hidden story of London, with its diversity, thrills, and energy, as well as its terrors, dangers, and risks, and in doing so, explains the origins of all English-speaking gay culture.
This vibrant history of London in the twentieth century reveals the city as a key site in the development of black internationalism and anticolonialism. Marc Matera shows the significant contributions of people of African descent to London’s rich social and cultural history, masterfully weaving together the stories of many famous historical figures and presenting their quests for personal, professional, and political recognition against the backdrop of a declining British Empire. A groundbreaking work of intellectual history, Black London will appeal to scholars and students in a variety of areas, including postcolonial history, the history of the African diaspora, urban studies, cultural studies, British studies, world history, black studies, and feminist studies.
Cooling Out: Has the World Changed, or Have I Changed? -- Notes -- Index
In this astonishing new history of wartime Britain, historian Stephen Bourne unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and at home, and brings to light the great unheralded contribution they made to the war effort. Fighting Proud weaves together the remarkable lives of these men, from RAF hero Ian Gleed – a Flying Ace twice honoured for bravery by King George VI – to the infantry officers serving in the trenches on the Western Front in WWI - many of whom led the charges into machine-gun fire only to find themselves court-martialled after the war for indecent behaviour. Behind the lines, Alan Turing’s work on breaking the ‘enigma machine’ and subsequent persecution contrasts with the many stories of love and courage in Blitzed-out London, with new wartime diaries and letters unearthed for the first time. Bourne tells the bitterly sad story of Ivor Novello, who wrote the WWI anthem ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, and the crucial work of Noel Coward - who was hated by Hitler for his work entertaining the troops. Fighting Proud also includes a wealth of long-suppressed wartime photography subsequently ignored by mainstream historians. This book is a monument to the bravery, sacrifice and honour shown by a persecuted minority, who contributed during Britain’s hour of need.
This collection brings together scholars from across the humanities in a fresh examination of queer lives, cultures and thought in the first full post-war decade. Through explorations of sexology, literature, film, oral testimony, newspapers and court records it nuances understandings of the period, and makes a case for the particularity of queer lives in different national contexts -- from Finland to New Zealand, the UK to the USA - whilst also marking the transnational movement of people and ideas. The collection rethinks perceptions of the 1950s, traces genealogies of sexual thought in that decade, and pinpoints some of its legacies. In so doing, it explores the utility of queer theoretical approaches and asks how far they can help us to unpick queer lives, relationships and networks in the past.

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