‘God Save the Queen’
Lord Gower, idolatry and the cult of the bric-à-brac diva
in Bachelors of a different sort
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This chapter seeks to question what exists beyond the, at times, obviousness of the homoerotic and the restrictive associations attributed to what might constitute a truly queer collection and domestic design. It focuses on the writings, interiors and collections of Lord Gower. The chapter briefly entertains important diversions into the early aesthetic theories and domestic practices of Oscar Wilde, initiated while a student at Magdalen College and developed in the first residence he took up with Frank Miles in Tite Street. Gower performed and understood these ideals on his own terms; his alternative masculinity embodied a life-world in which bric-à-brac and idolatry, specifically the diva worship of the tragic heroine, conspicuously diverged from the social perceptions and cultural expectations of the preferred performances of masculinity premised on heroism, militarism and chivalric idealism.

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