Friday, January 23, 2009

Gay's the Word to Mark 30th Anniversary

In February Gay's the Word, the first and now last surviving British gay bookshop, will be celebrating its 30th birthday with a month of special events and promotions.

Having pioneered access to gay books in the early 80's and surviving raids, high court battles and financial scares, it is a fantastic achievement to reach thirty years.

To celebrate, the shop has scheduled three book events.

The Greeks & Greek Love
A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece
James Davidson (Author and Speaker)
Thursday 29th January. 7pm. Free.

From Sappho to Alexander the Great, Ancient Greek civilisation is full of famous same-sex lovers. For all those who came after them, this inescapable feature has caused amusement, puzzlement and concern. Victorians preferred to focus on the intellectual side if Ancient Greek homosexuality, coyly ignoring the sexual aspect. Later scholars sought to redress the balance by stressing the physical nature of 'Greek love'.

James Davidson asks us to forget everything we thought we knew about the intimate culture of the Ancient Greeks and start again from scratch. The result is an engrossingly rich and diverse picture of Greek love which takes in bizarre Spartan sex-acts, recently discovered paintings and fragments of broken text, and throws new light on Greek civilisation as a whole. 'Massively informed and informative...[A] vital and outstanding study.' Spectator

The Amazing Mrs Shufflewick
The Life of Rex Jameson
Patrick Newley (Author and Speaker)
Thursday 12th February. 7pm. Free.

In real life Mrs Shufflewick was the glorious creation of Rex Jameson, a music hall great and one of radio and TV's most original and brilliant comics. Shy, difficult, bisexual and alcoholic, his private and public life often reached spectacular highs and appalling lows. A candid and incisive biographical history of British comedy.

London and the Culture of Homosexuality 1885-1914
Matt Cook (Author and Speaker)
Monday 23rd February. 7pm. Free

Exploring the relationship between London and male homosexuality from the criminalisation of all "acts of gross indecency" between men in 1885 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 - years marked by an intensification in concern about male-male relationships and also by the emergence of an embryonic homosexual rights movement.

For more information visit

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