Before Wilde: Sex between Men in Britain’s Age of Reform
This book examines changing perceptions of sex between men in early Victorian Britain, a significant yet surprisingly little explored period in the history of Western sexuality. Looking at the dramatic transformations of the era—changes in the family and in the law, the emergence of the world's first police force, the growth of a national media, and more—Charles Upchurch asks how perceptions of same-sex desire changed between men, in families, and in the larger society. To illuminate these questions, he mines a rich trove of previously unexamined sources, including hundreds of articles pertaining to sex between men that appeared in mainstream newspapers. The first book to relate this topic to broader economic, social, and political changes in the early nineteenth century, Before Wilde sheds new light on the central question of how and when sex acts became identities.
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24 September accused Annual Register April argued arrest attempted sodomy August behavior Britain British Central Criminal Court character charges constable convicted courtroom coverage CRIM Criminal Petitions cross-dressed cultural defendant E.P. Thompson early nineteenth century eighteenth eighteenth-century England English evidence extortion George Havelock Ellis History Home Office Homosexuality Hyde Park incident indecent assault individuals infamous crime involved John journal jury Krafft-Ebing letter liberal London Lowndes magistrate male man’s masculine men’s Metropolitan Police middle middle-class molly houses moral Morning Chronicle Morning Post Newbery newspapers November o’clock October papers pattern police court policeman political prisoner prosecution Protheroe Psychopathia Sexualis public house punishment reform respectable Rogers same-sex desire Sean Brady sentence September 1842 servants Session sex between men sexual acts sexual advance sexual desire similar social society soldier stories Street Thomas tion trial University Press unnatural assault unnatural-assault upper upper-class Victorian Weekly Dispatch Whitehurst William women working-class York young