General Introduction
in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
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Alan Bray has shown that early modern English society's homosocial discourses and institutions underpinned and managed the formation of passionately committed same-sex relationships. For the modern reader, sodomy and tribadism have as often occluded the nature of same-sex homoerotic love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships as they have illuminated them. There has been a move, in short, to contextualize rather than privilege the discourses of sodomy and tribadism in analyses of 'homosexuality' and 'lesbianism' in early modern England. One of the most vexed issues in the history of 'homosexuality' and 'lesbianism' has been the relationship between the early modern discourses of sodomy and tribadism and notions of early modern sexual identity. Interestingly, as critics have widened the contexts within which they analyse male and female homoerotic relationships, they have also returned to the whole issue of sexual identity in the early modern period.

Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735

An anthology of literary texts and contexts

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