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Homosexuality became increasingly visible in 19th-century English society and problems related to the "secret vice" and the "love that dare not speak its name" go to the root of Victorian social and cultural history. This book shows how the homosexual "closet" was created. It was not just by the operation of the law and increasing police enforcement but also by the efforts of successive governments, politicians and journalists, and others involved in public debate, to marginalize homosexuality in civil society. The problem of disclosure and the risk of inflaming class divisions in an age of growing homosexual awareness accompanied an appetite for sexual scandal and the danger of blackmail. Prevention of slander and the vilification involved in scandals among the ruling classes were potent reasons to marginalize homosexuality and create the "closet". The Victorian masculine "character" was at issue, as the homosexual scandals of the 1880s exposed the gulf between notions of private and public morality.

Nameless offences - Harry Cocks

9781860648908
£ 22.19
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Title
Nameless offences - homosexual desire in the nineteenth century
Author
Harry Cocks
format
Hardback
Publisher
I.B. Tauris
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20030415

Homosexuality became increasingly visible in 19th-century English society and problems related to the "secret vice" and the "love that dare not speak its name" go to the root of Victorian social and cultural history. This book shows how the homosexual "closet" was created. It was not just by the operation of the law and increasing police enforcement but also by the efforts of successive governments, politicians and journalists, and others involved in public debate, to marginalize homosexuality in civil society. The problem of disclosure and the risk of inflaming class divisions in an age of growing homosexual awareness accompanied an appetite for sexual scandal and the danger of blackmail. Prevention of slander and the vilification involved in scandals among the ruling classes were potent reasons to marginalize homosexuality and create the "closet". The Victorian masculine "character" was at issue, as the homosexual scandals of the 1880s exposed the gulf between notions of private and public morality.

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Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Homosexuality, Male - Great Britain - History - 19th century.|Homosexuality - Law and legislation - Great Britain - History - 19th century.|Gay men - Legal status, laws, etc. - Great Britain - History - 19th century.|Homophobia - Great Britain - History - 19th century.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
258

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