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Peter Ackroyd: Queer City

Peter Ackroyd: Queer City

Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day. UK 2018, 262 pp., pb.,,  14.95
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Chatto and Windus
Peter Ackroyd looks at the city in a whole new way - through the history and experiences of its gay community. In Roman Londinium the penis was worshipped and homosexuality could be found at public pleasure houses, brothels and hot baths. Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops and clergy, monks and missionaries. His rule was accompanied by the first laws against queer practices. What followed was an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure, from the notorious Normans, whose military might depend on masculine loyalty, and the fashionable female transvestism of the 1620s, to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early 1800s and the »gay plague« in the 1980s.
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