Review: Matt Houlbrook, Queer London

February 22, 2006

jacket imageMatt Houlbrook’s Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 has received the Longman-History Today Book of the Year 2006 award. History Today Editor Peter Furtado described it as "not a story of persecution, but a lucid, sane and fascinating account of how gay people negotiated space for themselves within a hostile cultural environment, dealing with policing, housing, geography, identity and politics."
The current edition of the Times Higher Education Supplement features a review of Queer London by Matt Cook: "A ground-breaking work. While middle-class lives and writing have tended to compel the attention of most historians of homosexuality, Matt Houlbrook has looked more widely and found a rich seam of new evidence. It has allowed him to construct a complex, compelling account of interwar sexualities and to map a new, intimate geography of London.… There is a nostalgia here for a world lost. This brings a rare warmth to the book: Houlbrook has a genuine affection for the men and places he describes. Occasionally his spectacles feel just a little too rose (or lilac) tinted. He is right to suggest that some of our understandings of queer life have narrowed since the war, but I find it difficult to regret the passing of certain other interwar constraints. A small qualm, though, about a great book and a worthy winner."
Read an excerpt.

One Response to Review: Matt Houlbrook, Queer London

  1. Honey on July 17, 2007 at 5:37 ami

    yes, Rosa Parks was ‘acting white’…
    but today, I guess it really doesn’t matter anymore…
    ———————— team; place you can read Rosa Parks biography

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