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An anthology of literary texts and contexts

This book is an anthology of selections from works dealing with same-sex love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships during the period 1550-1735 in early modern England. It presents religious and moral writings, pseudo-medical writings, criminal pamphlets, travel writings, and letters on same-sex desire. The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology. The early modern medical, pseudo-medical, and anatomical texts in Latin are surprisingly reticent about the physiological and anatomical aspects of homoerotic sexuality and desire. Canon law had long condemned male same-sex sexual acts. The 1533-34 statute in England forbade male same-sex sexual acts but ignored female same-sex intercourse. English travel narratives dealing with the sexual customs of other cultures often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. The most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio. Familiar letters, such as between James I and VI, could reveal personal secrets and be radically transgressive in their emphasis on fostering love and desire. The book discusses homo-sexual subculture during 1700-1730, translation of Latin and Greek texts, and numerous literature representing male and female same-sex erotic relationships. The largely 'socially diffused homosexuality' of the seventeenth century changed profoundly with 'clothes, gestures, language' connoting 'homosexuality'. The book shows how literary genres of male same-sex and female-sex desires such as Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Catherine Trotter's Agnes de Castro allow the modern reader to chart changes in their representation.

Abstract only
Marie Helena Loughlin

ch a pt e r 4 Travel Writings Travel Writings Introduction English travel narratives that deal with the sexual customs of other cultures, particularly those of the New World and the East, often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. However, by far the most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio, where both sodomy and tribadism are represented as springing from a rigidly observed and religiously mandated

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

conceived. 175 Loughlin, Same-sex desire in early modern England.indd 175 18/12/2013 15:25:10 Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England within the walls of a Turkish seraglio.79 I speak not this in behalf of the female sex, but of our own; for if they should once hear of this argument and fall upon us with Socrates,80 Plato,81 and all those heroes of antiquity, whom Plutarch and Lucian produce in defence of a like sin in our sex; should they mention Anacreon, Tibullus, Martial, and all those poets who have eternized their infamy in their writings; and after that show

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

Desiderius Erasmus's Scriptural commentaries and editions of classical writers and the Church fathers profoundly influenced Renaissance scholarship and literature. Although primarily concerned with heterosexual intercourse and transgressive heterosexual pleasures, Lucian's and Aretino's works also contain scenes of female same-sex sexual acts. Ben Jonson's successes on the stage, including Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair were matched by his successes at court, where he wrote masques for Queen Anne and lyric verse. Writer of political satires, and supporter of religious toleration, parliamentary democracy, and civil liberty, Andrew Marvell is best known for his lyric poetry, most published posthumously. Frederick Scheffer's and William King's 'learned' footnotes and appendices comprise some of the work's most vicious assaults on Myra, as well as an index of classical and contemporary beliefs about female homoerotic relationships, desires, and sexual acts.

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