PRAISE FOR QUEER CITY
“Always entertaining . . . much to be recommended.”—The Spectator
“A nimble, uproarious pocket history of sex in his beloved metropolis.”—Independent
“Ackroyd has an encyclopedic knowledge of London, and a poet’s instinct for its strange, mesmerizing drives and urges . . . Queer City contains something to alarm or fascinate on every page.”—The Mail on Sunday
“Droll, provocative and crammed to busting with startling facts.”—The Guardian
“Succinct, perceptive and robust.”—Daily Telegraph
In Queer City, the acclaimed Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new waythrough 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.