Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Peter Ackroyd


Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

  • Title: Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day
  • Author: Peter Ackroyd
  • ISBN: 9781448191390
  • Page: 284
  • Format: ebook



A Sunday Times Bestseller In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way through the history and experiences of its gay 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 A A Sunday Times Bestseller In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way through the history and experiences of its gay 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.Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London Independent


Recent Comments "Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day"

Some years ago, I started to read Ackroyd's biography of London. I went about half way through before giving up on it. It felt very light on facts but full of hot air, mostly smelling of shit and rotten produce, as I recall.Queer city is just the opposite: so crammed with facts that it becomes almost dizzying for it. In effect the whole thing feels like a big brain dump. Ackroyd rushes through a vertiginous list of facts often without really explaining things properly, or simply adding, by way o [...]

Book received from NetGalley.First and foremost, this particular history book is not for everyone, the subject matter can be very divisive even though the author is a marvelous researcher and writer of British history. This is one of my auto buy authors. I love his books especially his non-fiction. He somehow finds a way to bring his subject to life and draw the reader in. This book is no different, even though the subject matter can be hard to read at times. Unlike many of his history books thi [...]

yeah, so. have a collection of thoughts on this book.> i've seen people say that this book is too info-dumpy but honestly? i've never been info dumped with lgbt history so i didn't necessarily find that to be a problem> one thing i did find, though, was that there wasn't really a coherent flow to it - it felt a bit choppy, like one paragraph he'd be talking about something, the next it'd be something else, which didn't seem to connect, so there wasn't really an overarching structure for ea [...]

A frustrating, fascinating mess of a book in which undoubted erudition pours forth on to the page with little structure beyond the vaguely chronological. At times, one wonders if it’s been edited at all; the dildo is described as "indispensable" to sapphic play in one sentence, only for the next to admit that sometimes a finger was substituted. Or consider the assertion that 1791 saw the last execution for sodomy in continental Europe. Really? I’m sure there’s a few ghosts of the Nazi camp [...]

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley One of my closest friends is a gay man who is twenty plus years older than me. Most days, we take a walk though the local cemetery, The Woodlands (where Eakins and Stockton are buried among others). Early on in our ritual, we noticed a headstone for a couple, but the couple in this case were both men. Sadly, it was one of those couple headstones where one partner is still alive, and the other has died years ago. My friend said that it was likely that the husband had [...]

Having just moved to London, I decided to educate myself about my new city by picking up Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day. As a trans (pop) historian, there seemed no better way to get to know the streets and neighbourhoods of London than through its LGBT history.On the one hand, Queer City is a delightful, often hilarious, romp through about two thousand years of history. It's full of tantalizing moment from various periods of London's history - perhaps too brief, but f [...]

I was debating between 2 or 3 and went for 2 sorry. Anyway, review time:I was quite enjoying this until i got to the last couple of pages about 20/21st century queer london and had to read this line with my own two eyes: "the effects of clause 28 were, as it turned out, minimal; its most important consequence lay in the self-definition of those who protested against it. (P.225)" This after barely a page, in a 240 page volume, on the aids crisis. The description of the history that I, a queer in [...]

I know this book has been getting some pretty poor reviews, but personally I loved it. I can understand how the volume of information can be a bit difficult to follow or focus on, but for someone used to reading academic historical texts (as I did for my degree) I found it fascinating, well-sourced, and deeply entertaining. Ackroyd gives readers a full and multi-faceted perspective on queer history in London, and draws on both historical documents, dairies/biographies, and various cultural mediu [...]

Feeling torn about this book – it both disappointed and pleasantly surprised me. On the one hand, the "queer history of London" is essentially a queer history of England with a lot of unknown street names thrown in, though Ackroyd does occasionally explore the link between urbanity and non-heterosexuality: its restriction to London feels limiting and contrived. When he reaches the 19th century, he suddenly seems in a hurry to finish. He also skims over the question of sexual assault, though th [...]

An odd book. A hodge podge of facts regarding divergent sexuality in London. I use the phrase "divergent sexuality" rather than gay, as in reality the book covers a lot more than gay culture.As I said, it's an odd book. It reminds me of a man skating over a frozen sewage pond. He goes fast because he's afraid to look at what's underneath the ice. That's pretty much what Peter Ackroyd does - he skims across the surface of an interesting subject, scattering facts behind him.I spent a lot of time r [...]

This isn't in print yet so I felt lucky to read it but Ackroyd's writing style is so much just an accumulation of facts and very little the creation of an overarching narrative that I found it like reading a trivia book.

This work of popular history, which attempts to chronicle the history of queer London, has its shining moments. Ackroyd loves scandal, and when he's in his element, Queer City is a page-turner. His liberal quoting from old ballads and his jaunty writing style give Ackroyd's work a nice clip. Unfortunately, though, Ackroyd has written an entirely frustrating book.Ackroyd's work on queer London through the 19th century is mostly good. It's an interesting, though cursory overview of how sexual iden [...]

I didn't expect Ackroyd to be funny, but I am glad he was, specially because most of the records that we have of queer life in London are from defamatory pamphlets or prison records so it wasn't very cheery. His material was pretty amazing, I appreciated the little sections on people of the same gender that had asked to be buried together. But obviously the thing I most appreciated was that he was inclusive with all the members of LGBTQIA - I think it's the first book that I have read that uses [...]

Oh, such a shame. Seemed to run out of steam towards the end, racing through the 20th and 21st centuries; the time when so much social and political change has occurred. Also, much of the book talks about stories and situations which are not exclusive to London, so why there is such emphasis on the 'Queer City' I'm not so sure. This is as much a history of sexuality in Britain as it is for London - albeit a very brief, whistle-stop tour of our history.

This one funniest books of 2017 that has had me screaming with laughter but also on very serious subject that lot of people are not aware of or care about.This also proves what I have all ways said Shakespeare is blue.

Although relatively short, this book is a battle to get through. It attempts to achieve way too much in far too short amount of time meaning huge important aspects of queer history are glossed over at a lightning pace. It ends up being a book full of facts and names with no real context.In the last 30 pages the book attempts to cover from the Second World War to present day, skipping through aspects of Gay Liberation, the AIDS crisis, and today's gay political climate in what seems to be a mad p [...]

While occasionally useful for interesting facts and revelations, I knew I was going to have problems with this book the moment it arrived in the mail; its size. I was expecting a tome, and I received a slim volume instead. Considering that the time period covered in the book is nearly two thousand years, this really highlights the major problem with this book. It's too short. It's too short to properly cover nearly any of its material, and I think it would probably be useful to a reader acquaint [...]

In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way - through the story of its gay 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 permissiveness and censure.Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city, from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions fo [...]

Although it was somewhat disconcerting that a surprising amount of historical records regarding "homosexual" infractions related to pedophilia, this is something to blame past homophobia and lack of protections for children for, more than the author for mentioning it. I only bring it up so other readers are warned before jumping right in - historical speaking, pedophilia of all kinds was more common, perhaps, than today, even if still illegal. It's going to come up a lot in a book about LGBT his [...]

I was convinced to read this book for its breadth. It promised to start with the Roman gay scene! As a matter of fact it starts earlier with the Celts, but these early chapters feel very dispersed. Evidence is thin on the ground and often comes from as far away as Greece. A coherent picture of the Roman gay scene doesn't emerge and the inability to combine disparate sources into a single picture is a recurring flaw (as is the fact the book is never 100% focused on London). It does however delive [...]

Cock and bull-dyke story: in an apt choice for Pride Month, Queer City might be better subtitled 'a history of bum-fun in the capital' and Peter Ackroyd does not deviate from bringing up every sort of sex and sexuality in a completely unabashed way. Gosh, there's a lot of it, and to paraphrase Mick Farren, if you can imagine it, somebody's probably writing a social history of it. Ackroyd's special focus is on the 17th to the 19th centuries, and as a result other periods get less of his attention [...]

What did I think of this book? I’m not entirely sure.This is an extremely sweeping overview of the queer history of London, without footnotes or endnotes. I found the lack of references difficult, but I accept that covering a couple thousand years of history in just over 200 pages doesn’t leave much room for them. There is a good bibliography for those who want to go further into particular people or events.The early chapters are very speculative and mainly suggest that accusing opponents of [...]

In just a couple of hundred pages I was able to have a fast yet definitive travel through the queer history of London. I got to live through stories of early men and women who engaged in homosexual and/or homoerotic endeavors, a time when such endeavors were not condemned as disgusting or evil. Stories of Christians and their sudden influence over the city of Rome, which marked the start of a new difficult time for queer people. Stories of hangings and pillories of the queer population during th [...]

There are parts of this book that seem well-researched, and there are parts where the author is trying too hard to be funny.It turns out to be an unusual category of things that are put together for a history in this book. There are a lot of stories from hundreds of years ago that we now would categorize as abuse by men rather than men being queer. Some context would be useful there; does he think these men were having sex with boys because that age disparity was more normal for sexual objects o [...]

A history of Gay London from Romans to the present day says the front cover - well not really, the London connection is a bit forced, rather this is a history of Queer England. As it attempts to cover a thousand years of history in 250 pages, it is rather episodic and a lot of facts and figures are thrown about. There is no real narrative thread and the content becomes somewhat repetitive, there is only so much you can say about buggery, sodomy and same-sex encounters of every description. Still [...]

A fascinating and engagingly written history of queer (mostly gay) London. There is very little of early (Roman) history and the majority of the book focuses on the 16th - 19th centuries. However, it does have a disappointing end. Whilst I disagree with Ackroyd's sweeping conclusion that Clause 28 had "minimal effect" jumping from the late 19th Century to the 21st Century in two chapters, and covering AIDS in less than two pages, is a big let down. It would have been better if the book covered t [...]

I really enjoyed this, but that is possibly because I'm starved for gay literature. It felt very much like I was reading a textbook, the information was jumbled and it was difficult to follow the line of history. However, many of the individual stories were interesting and eye opening, and the illustrations were sparse but well selected. Personally I think the last era wasn't touched on enough, specifically concerning the AIDs epidemic, and it appears that he believes that there is no longer hom [...]

This book aims to provide an objective, historical review of same-sex relations in the Kingdom. It follows literature, laws, and cases brought before the courts. Literature is a source for those periods when the other sources are absent.There is a trend in feminist writing - to rely on literature (as direct sources are scarce). This book breaks with that tradition and brings reality in. It cites case law where a man actually claimed that his body is his own, and society doesn't have a say on how [...]

This book never really delivers on the "story" part of the title. It's mostly just a collection of facts, without any real analysis of historical context and zero engagement with problematic narratives that could surround such a cold recollection. He makes no attempt to tell the story of any of the individuals in the book and reduces them to either their crimes or their scandal. Women are sorely under represented and bisexuality not even discussed. Further I think the way he deals with the histo [...]

Oh dear. Oh no. Oh, Peter. Oh what a terrible, terrible shame.What a wonderful book this could have been, what a beautiful tribute to the queer men and women who went before us.And what a horrifying mess Ackroyd has turned out. Disjointed lurching from anecdote to anecdote, with no real connection, no real insight, no real organisation, Queer City reads liked a rushed A-Level history project. This is a bad book.I feel sad because I so very much wanted to love this book and I think that if the au [...]


  • Free Read [Nonfiction Book] ☆ Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day - by Peter Ackroyd ✓
    284 Peter Ackroyd
  • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Nonfiction Book] ☆ Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day - by Peter Ackroyd ✓
    Posted by:Peter Ackroyd
    Published :2018-08-09T09:40:26+00:00