Before Wilde (Paperback)

Sex between Men in Britain's Age of Reform

By Charles Upchurch

University of California Press, 9780520280120, 288pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/22/2009)

List Price: 29.95*
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This book examines changing perceptions of sex between men in early Victorian Britain, a significant yet surprisingly little explored period in the history of Western sexuality. Looking at the dramatic transformations of the era—changes in the family and in the law, the emergence of the world's first police force, the growth of a national media, and more—Charles Upchurch asks how perceptions of same-sex desire changed between men, in families, and in the larger society. To illuminate these questions, he mines a rich trove of previously unexamined sources, including hundreds of articles pertaining to sex between men that appeared in mainstream newspapers. The first book to relate this topic to broader economic, social, and political changes in the early nineteenth century, Before Wilde sheds new light on the central question of how and when sex acts became identities.

About the Author

Charles Upchurch is Associate Professor of History at Florida State University.

Praise For Before Wilde: Sex between Men in Britain's Age of Reform

“This is a very important book. It may even be a historic book. . . . One reads this book with grateful amazement. . . . Breathtaking.”

— Huffington Post

“Fascinating and informative. . . . Upchurch has set a standard for depth and originality of research and creative social analysis.”

— Gay City News

“A meticulous study. . . . Illuminating.”

— Victorian Studies

“A powerful and persuasive account of male-male sexual relations in the age of reform.”

— Denis O’Donovan

“A very fine book. Upchurch’s sophisticated work instructively points scholars in new chronological and methodological directions.”

— pAuL r. desLAndes University of Vermont