- ISBN 9780500251843
- 22.90 x 15.20 cm
- 128 Illustrations, 56 in colour
- First published 2012
‘Engaging … a beautiful book, and a welcome addition to what some call ‘gay studies’ and others simply see as a celebration of human sexuality in all its diversity’ – Time Out Book of the Week
From ancient Chinese courtiers to pioneers of gay liberation in the 21st century, from the unknowable relationships of the distant past to the frankest affirmations of modern sexual identity, this comprehensive survey gives pause for thought and affirms the diversity of human history.
‘A colourful compendium of same-sex love through the ages’ – The Independent
‘An upbeat and inspirational take on the heroes and heroines from history who have pushed a same sex love agenda … it’s printed on really, really nice, high-quality paper with a ribbon bookmark and everything. For all your iPadding technological advances, nothing quite beats a well-written gay reference book’ – Gay Times
See the full contents page
Often colourful, occasionally tragic, but all in some way extraordinary, these life stories reflect – and have sometimes helped to shape – contemporary attitudes towards same-sex intimacy.
The exploits of the famous never cease to captivate our imaginations – rulers, artists, explorers, and all the great personalities of history. Yet many quieter lives also have the ability to impress, to teach us something about the remarkable qualities of human nature.
In this book, Robert Aldrich presents a fascinating portrait of gay men and women throughout history that reveals the full diversity of gay lives as lived in their times. He gives a voice to more than eighty people from every major continent and from all walks of life, from poets, philosophers and artists, to saints, gangsters and activists.
Alongside such celebrated names as Michelangelo, Frederick the Great and Harvey Milk are lesser-known but no less surprising individuals: two men of ancient Egypt whose lives were closely linked over four thousand years ago; a Renaissance nun who blurred the boundaries between spiritual and physical love; a flamboyant maharaja, who liked to have his way with retainers; and ‘Aimée’ and ‘Jaguar’, whose love defied the death camps of wartime Germany.
Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Seduction of the Mediterranean and Colonialism and Homosexuality, and has edited Gay Life and Culture: A World History and The Age of Empires, both published by Thames & Hudson.