You don't want to go there to that London. It's full of gays.
Jake Arnott£8.99 £8.36
Peter Ackroyd£11.99 £11.15
Published to coincide with the host of exhibitions and events to mark 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act and partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, was this fascinating new gay history of London from its preeminent chronicler Peter Ackroyd. And what a queer history it is. From importuning cross-dressers to propositioning guardsmen, Queer City is rich in amazing detail, teeming with incredible characters and full of extraordinary facts. For instance did you know that a male brothel was once located on the present site of Buckingham Palace? Indeed there have been many a queen in residence in our illustrious and often debauched capital. From the lupanaria, ‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses that dotted Roman Londinium through to the alfresco opportunities of contemporary Hampstead Heath, the more things change, it would seem, the more they stay the same. London has however experienced endless loop of alternating permissiveness and condemnation; for instance a fashion for queerness in the mid- eighteenth century gave into a frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth. Queer City is an engrossing and at times dizzying expedition though our urban queer heritage. Telling the story of gay London from the Romans to the present day in 230 pages is no easy feat, but Ackroyd has pulled off an accessible, exciting and engrossing overview of London’s rich gay past.
Matt (Keele University) Cook£23.99
Jonathan Kemp£8.99 £8.36
One of our most recommended and bestselling gay novels, ever.
In detailing the cover-up and its repercussions, Smith has drawn on many new and original sources. He usefully places it in the context of the Vassall and Profumo affairs, which had already catastrophically undermined public confidence in the establishment and made everyone involved determined to avoid another political scandal. His book is both lively and engrossing, and provides the clearest and most comprehensive account yet of this extraordinary saga --Peter Parker, The Spectator