Queer City

Queer City

Gay London From the Romans to the Present Day

Book - 2018
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'Droll, provocative and crammed to busting with startling facts' Simon Callow, Guardian

In this powerful Sunday Times bestseller Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way - through the history and experiences of its gay 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.

Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.
Publisher: New York :, Vintage,, 2018, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780099592945
Branch Call Number: 306. 76609 ACK
Characteristics: ix, 262 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), colour maps ; 22 cm


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infofarrell Dec 19, 2018

Very well written and informative. A great historical journey.

Jul 30, 2018

Are you kidding? The cover of Queer City has a quote from THE GUARDIAN review that says this book is droll, provocative and crammed with startling facts. WRONG. It is politically correct boring drivel.

As an old white guy I got this book to be scandalized by those naughty gay-boys, but that ain't happening here. Author Peter Ackroyd is obviously concerned with presenting the gay community in a positive light, not an interesting one, so he don't say nothing to titillate or shock.

I wanted to hear the rumors and innuendo along with the facts. What celebrities were Tom Robinson gettin' it on with when he recorded GLAD TO BE GAY? What wickedness did those manly boys get up to at the roman baths? Who was the fella that Shakespeare was writing those sonnets to? You won't find the answers to those, or any other interesting questions in this book.

While reading Queer City, I compared the chapter on Oscar Wilde to the Wikipedia page on Wilde. The Wikipedia page had tons more information and was more interesting and better written.

Come on JeffCO. You can pick better books than this!

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