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Closet Queens: Some 20th Century British Politicians

Bloch, Michael

Published by Little, Brown
ISBN 10: 1408704129 / ISBN 13: 9781408704127
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Closet Queens: Some 20th Century British ...

Publisher: Little, Brown

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


A colourful and brilliantly researched study of closet homosexuality in twentieth-century British politics. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJ; BGH; JFSK2; JP. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 248 x 351 x 31. Weight in Grams: 614. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781408704127

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Synopsis: In Closet Queens, the masterful biographer Michael Bloch turns his attention to the men of British politics who were forced to lead double lives. Outwardly conforming to the requirements of heterosexual middle class society, many twentieth-century British politicians had illicit, clandestine and often thrilling queer sex lives. Some sought relationships with men of their own class, others with 'rough trade' and some confined themselves to fleeting, anonymous encounters in public places. The phenomenon of gay men marrying lesbians was not uncommon amongst the establishment of the early twentieth century. Such unions offered protection from discovery. Many closet queens lived under the constant threat of blackmail but wealth and social position could help considerably. After the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 decriminalised sexual acts in private between consenting males, the great fear of closet queens was not of prosecution in the courts but exposure in the press, leading some men to continue to repress their sexuality in order to realise their ambitions. Opening doors into the private, hidden worlds of key political figures in Britain, Closet Queens will be an astonishing work that will be one of the talking points of 2015.

Product Description: Closet Queens is a fascinating study of gay men in twentieth century British politics, from Lord Rosebery and Lord Beauchamp in Edwardian times to Michael Portillo and Peter Mandelson in our own era.

As all homosexual activity was illegal until 1967, and exposure meant ruin and disgrace, such men were obliged either to repress their sexual feelings or else lead double lives, indulging their tastes secretly while respectably married with children.

The need to cover up their sexuality, while causing problems and disappointments, often sharpened their skills as politicians - they were masters of secrecy and subterfuge, and knew how to take calculated risks.

An entertaining and insightful account of some extraordinary personalities, Closet Queens opens doors into a hidden world.

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