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In Queer City, the acclaimed Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way–through the complete history and experiences of its gay and lesbian population. In Roman Londinium, the city was dotted with lupanaria (“wolf dens” or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels), and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks, and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure. Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music, and the horror of AIDS. Ackroyd reveals the hidden story of London, with its diversity, thrills, and energy, as well as its terrors, dangers, and risks, and in doing so, explains the origins of all English-speaking gay culture.
About the Author
Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning historian, biographer, novelist, poet, and broadcaster. He is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction bestsellers London: The Biography, Thames, and London Under; biographies of figures including Charles Dickens, William Blake, and Alfred Hitchcock; and a multi-volume history of England. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.