This book carefully considers the myriad and complex relationships between queer male masculinity and interior design, material culture and aesthetics in Britain between 1885 and 1957 - that is bachelors of a different sort - through rich, well-chosen case studies. It pays close attention to particular homes and domestic interiors of Lord Ronald Gower, Alfred Taylor, Oscar Wilde, Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts, Edward Perry Warren and John Marshall, Sir Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines, Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton. The book underscores the discursive history and conceptual parameters of the bachelor as these collided with queer sexualities through social and cultural perceptions. It focuses on the seven deadly sins of the modern bachelor: queerness, idolatry, decadence, askesis, decoration, glamour, and finally, artifice. The seven deadly sins of the modern bachelor comprise a contested site freighted with contradiction, vacillating between and revealing the fraught and distinctly queer twining of shame and resistance. Together the furniture and collections that filled Gower's Windsor home compel us to search out the narratives that bric-a-brac at once enliven and expose well beyond the shadows of the endless and meaningless accumulation that late Victorians were said to been have afflicted by.
Interwar glamour and the performances of a queer modernity
entertainment and mass culture’. 52 Glamour, it must be said, is indelibly imbricated in the aesthetic culture of modernism. It ‘has its own recognizable aesthetic that finds its ideal conditions in the clean (synthetic, cold, abstract) lines of high modernism and provides a way of reading the modern cultural landscape’. 53 In this way, interwarglamour, I argue, was not simply a product of entertainment, but equally one of design, or perhaps more appropriately of a design for modern living. Coward also became part of the jet set that vacationed in Deauville and SaintTropez