localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I was working at the library today. I promised myself: "No, Mike, you will bring back the two books you have finished but you will not borrow any more non-course related books."

I picked up The Cybercultures Reader when I was on floor one, but that was okay, as I think I will need it for this next essay.

Then I went to floor three. And borrowed Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (the next Temeraire) and also Wolf Gift by Anne Rice had just come into shelving.

So I brought two books back and came home with three. Terrific. In addition to that abebooks sent me a money off voucher which I have used to order Baudrillard's Simulacrae (course related, so okay) and also Robbie Ross: Oscar Wilde's Devoted Friend and Rum, Sodomy and the Lash: Piracy, Sexuality and Masculinity. The latter two have arrived.

I have asked Mum to hide them on me for I fear when faced with books I have LONGED for quite some time over I would not be able to excercise my usual iron self-control.

Now I have an enormous pile of books to read, most of which I have forbidden myself from looking at until I plough through a pile of journal articles and other research for essay prep. Dammit.

localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Continuing on from yesterday I found myself trolling some of the archive material gathered up by Rictor Norton who was interviewed on the Sexual Subcultures programme I mentioned yesterday. There are many delights to be had in these annals- even alongside the tragedies. One woman, discovered to have been serving as a soldier for many years, was not cast out but kept on as general helper, for her gallantry received a small pension and was buried with the other Chelsea Pensioners. Which was just awesome.

But the big one that caught my eye today was a report of A Sodomite Club in Warrington in 1806. Four men were hanged as a result (at Lancaster at "the new drop erected at the back of the castle in Lancaster" which I have seen!!). But what really got me was the reports mention a public house, frequented by the men involved and I think I have FOUND it. It's not too far, just a different turn off one of the roundabouts on my way to work. Now, of course, I could be completely wrong and the only real way to find out will be A Visit and potentially asking some excitable questions of the current owners. I have a real wish to do so at some point. It's all rather exciting. Up in t'north, as with most things, the history is slightly less detailed - or at least it's harder to find- than about the south. The newspapers, even as they were back then, were either exceedingly local (limited number of those the earlier you go) or else were of a London focus ( Arguably, little has changed eh?)

Anyway it's got me all rather excited and cheery, even though it's such a sad thing because ultimately people died for this piece of history to be recorded.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I love my mother. I know, I know, complete old quean here but really. At some point today she randomly picked up that on the Voices from the Old Bailey programme on Radio 4 (a troll through the archives, social history etc) they were doing an episode that mentioned:

a cross-dressing man
Mollies clubs
a song called BUMOGRAPHY

and her firs thought, was that she HAD TO TELL ME TO LISTEN.


I did, on the iplayer, and is AWESOME:

Linkage- Voices from the Old Bailey Servies 2, Episode 2: Sexual Subcultures

About:Amanda Vickery uses court cases to explore the lives of gay men and cross-dressers in the 18th century. Lesbians did not appear in court as lesbianism was not against the law - but we find and record an 18th century lesbian love song, as well as the hilarious 'Bumography'.

The 3 court cases in the programme range from the tragic to the hilarious. First, the case of a milkman caught in a raid on a gay brothel - and sentenced to death. His father-in-law appears in court to plead for him - it turns out the milkman is a widower, with a daughter to raise. But to no avail: he hangs for the crime of sodomy.

The second case is blackmail, and reveals the vulnerability of all men at the time to accusations of sodomy. The third stars the hilarious 'Princess Seraphina', a cross-dresser with a bevy of female admirers who turn up in court. It gives a priceless insight into 18th century camp.

Three contributors discuss the cases: leading gay historian Rictor Norton, whose books and website have a cult following; Helen Berry, historian of sexuality, whose book on castrati is published later this year, and Professor Peter King, historian of crime. They open up a debate about how far there was a clearly-defined gay identity in the 18th century.

Recorded on location in Lincoln's Inn, where barristers have been beavering away for centuries. But outside their chambers, this was one of the naughtiest places in London - a notorious gay cruising ground, and site of the 'bog-house', the public toilets which were a place of assignation. The music used in this programme was arranged by David Owen Norris, from original 18th century ballads.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.


My cup. It overfloweth. And is filled with queans, queers and buggery. :D

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