A groundbreaking, comprehensive study of lesbian and gay culture from 1620-1785, Secret Sexualities collects for the first time a broad range of rare primary documents from the Renaissance. This collection identifies the origins and historical components of gay and lesbian identities. Representing lesbians and gay men in the period's own manners and terms, Secret Sexualities is critical reading for students of literature, gender, and cultural history.
Secret Sexualities contains rare and previously unpublished material, and takes a bold approach to issues of sex, sexuality, and gender in the Renaissance. Divided into four sections, author Ian McCormick examines: Anatomies (the construction of eunuchs and hermaphrodites; the relationship between the grotesque body, sex, and gender); Crimes and Punishments (sodomy trials; punishment; literary and imaginary perception of sodomy trials); Representations (gay men in the popular imagination; songs, poems, pamphlets, and sermons); Sapphic Texts (cross- dressing; female husbands; courtships and sexual practices; lesbian culture).
Secret Sexualities includes critical introductions for each section and extract, as well as a bibliography and glossary.