This book demonstrates a fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas between British queer history and art history. It engages with self-identified lesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. The book highlights the international dimension of what to date has been told as a classic British tale of homosexual law reform and also illuminates the choices made and constraints imposed at the national level. It embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in John Everett Millais's life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. The book aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. It offers a historical analysis of the link between homosexual men and gossip by examining the origins of the gossip column in the British tabloid press in the three decades after 1910. The book provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a number of new discourses of homosexuality as a social practice in postwar Britain. It explores a British variant on homophile internationalism before and immediately after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act by mapping Grey's cross-border connections while noting strain against transnational solidarity. The book focuses on evidence collected by the 1977 Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship to illustrate how gay men conceptualised the place of pornography in their lives and its role in the broader struggle for the freedom.
complicated in recent decades by the greater readiness of historical subjects to claim and cling to sexual identities as such categories gained greater cultural credence. Bringing us into the postwar world, Amy Tooth Murphy’s chapter engages with self-identifiedlesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. In a series of interviews with women born before 1955, Murphy takes us beyond the social and political worlds of ‘out and about’ lesbians into the lesbian experience of domesticity. Scholars have largely neglected the home and the
further self-selected random group of women; the aim of this questionnaire was to extend the invitation to comment on the programme outside the framing context provided by the magazine letter. Questionnaires were snowballed amongst three small groups of respondents: office workers on Merseyside, members of Yorkshire Women’s Institute and self-identifiedlesbian women, generating a further seventeen respondents.
The letters and questionnaires were used to identify the principal themes for commentary and discussion based on each respondent’s comments and observations
, historiography of postwar lesbian experience, ultimately providing a more complete and fully rounded picture of that experience. In order to delve beyond public spaces into the innately intimate and private space of the home I will draw primarily on testimonies garnered through a series of oral history interviews I conducted with self-identifyinglesbian women born before 1955 and living in Britain. 8 Oral history as a discipline allows us to examine the minutiae of individual lives. Detailed investigation of how individuals construct their narratives can be hugely revealing