Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Social Science - 341 pages
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A fresh examination of this forbidden history shows the profound effects of gay culture on modern life. The nineteenth century was a golden age for those people known variously as sodomites, Uranians, monosexuals, and homosexuals. Long before Stonewall and Gay Pride, there was such a thing as gay culture, and it was recognized throughout Europe and America. Graham Robb, brilliant biographer of Balzac, Hugo, and Rimbaud, examines how homosexuals were treated by society and finds a tale of surprising tolerance. He describes the lives of gay men and women: how they discovered their sexuality and accepted or disguised it; how they came out; how they made contact with like-minded people. He also includes a fascinating investigation of the encrypted homosexuality of such famous nineteenth-century sleuths as Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes himself (with glances forward in time to Batman and J. Edgar Hoover). Finally, Strangers addresses crucial questions of gay culture, including the riddle of its relationship to religion: Why were homosexuals created with feelings that the Creator supposedly condemns? This is a landmark work, full of tolerant wisdom, fresh research, and surprises. 16 pages of illustrations.
 

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Strangers: homosexual love in the nineteenth century

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The author of several critical biographies of French writers, Robb casts his eye on the cultural history of gay men and lesbians in Western civilization during the century between the Napoleonic ... Read full review

Contents

PREJUDICE
1
PART ONE
15
IN THE SHADOWS
17
COUNTRY OF THE BLIND
40
OUTINGS
84
PART TWO
123
MIRACULOUS LOVE
125
SOCIETY OF STRANGERS
156
GENTLE JESUS
233
HEROES OF MODERN LIFE
253
APPENDICES
271
I Criminal Statistics
272
II A Categoric Personal Analysis for the Reader
276
III Map of Uranian Europe
278
Acknowledgements
280
NOTES
281

A SEX OF ONES OWN
174
PART THREE
195
FAIRY TALES
197

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References to this book

Proust in Love
William C. Carter
Limited preview - 2008
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About the author (2003)

Graham Robb is the author of three prize-winning biographies, each one selected as New York Times Best Books. His most recent works, The Discovery of France and Parisians, have earned several awards and much acclaim between them. He lives on the Anglo-Scottish border.

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