Ryan Linkof
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‘These young men who come down from Oxford and write gossip’
Society gossip, homosexuality and the logic of revelation in the interwar popular press
in British queer history
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This chapter aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. Celebrity gossip writing began as an Edwardian dandy's occupation. The British popular press gossip was a mass-media version of the arch dandy circulating in aristocratic and bohemian circles, a standard figure in British society since the days of Beau Brummell. Some of the gossip writers who would later look for work on Fleet Street sharpened their teeth writing for the Oxford aesthete journal Isis. Gossip writers, like candid photographers whose skill at capturing embarrassing behaviour on camera was called upon extensively in the early and mid-1930s, provided testimonial evidence of the less than savoury aspects of celebrity life. Godfrey Winn faced the discrimination from some of the more bigoted newspapermen that most homosexual journalists in Britain faced, but that seemed to have no negative effect on his success as a gossip writer.

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British queer history

New approaches and perspectives

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