Before the Closet: Same-Sex Love from "Beowulf" to "Angels in America"
Allen J. Frantzen challenges the long accepted view that the early Middle Ages tolerated and even fostered same-sex relations and that intolerance of homosexuality developed only late in the medieval period. Frantzen shows that in early medieval Europe, the Church did not tolerate same-sex acts, in fact it was an age before people recognized the existence—or the possibility—of the "closet."
With its ambitious scope and elegant style, Before the Closet sets same-sex relations in Anglo-Saxon sources in relation to the sexual themes of contemporary opera, dance, and theatre. Frantzen offers a comprehensive analysis of sources from the seventh to the twelfth century and traces Anglo-Saxon same-sex behavior through the age of Chaucer and into the Renaissance.
"Frantzen's marvelous book . . . opens up a world most readers will never have even known was there. It's a difficult topic, but Frantzen's comprehensive, readable and even wryly funny treatment makes this an unexpected pleasure."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Before the closet: same-sex love from Beowulf to Angels in AmericaUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Frantzen (English, Loyola Univ.) here attempts to refute John Boswell's classic work on homosexuality in the Middle Ages, Christianity, Social Tolerance And Homosexuality (LJ 6/1/80). Unfortunately ... Read full review
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