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SEX AND SEXUALITY, 1640 - 1940
Literary, Medical and Sociological Perspectives

Part 5: Gay Literature from Anacreon to John Addington Symonds from the British Library, London

This is an essential resource for all those interested in the History of Gay Literature. 

Works such as Claude Summers’s The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage (1995) have made it clear that there is a rich tradition of writings by and about homosexuality, but few libraries possess these texts.  This project seeks to fill that gap, by making available rare volumes from the Private Case and other collections at the British Library.

The project explores homosexuality’s physical, spiritual, psychological and cultural dimensions though titles such as:

  • The Greek View of Life
  • The Green Carnation
  • Der Schwimmer
  • Les Hermaphrodites
  • A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep
  • Fragilia Labilia
  • Tim: A Story of Eton
  • A Problem in Greek Ethics
  • Hombres

The project is strongest for the 19th and early 20th centuries, when a rich literature emerged describing the varieties of homosexual behaviour.  But there is also a great deal on Greek and Roman sexual habits, on the sexual liberty of Restoration England and on the tolerance of bisexuality during the 18th century.



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