Homosexuality in French History and Culture  book cover
1st Edition

Homosexuality in French History and Culture

ISBN 9781560232636
Published February 26, 2002 by Routledge
308 Pages

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Book Description

Deconstruct changing representations of homosexuality with this important new work of cultural criticism! Homosexuality in French History and Culture explores episodes, patterns, and images of same-sex attraction in France from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, from the essays of Michel de Montaigne to pride parades in contemporary Paris. This groundbreaking book documents the ways homosexuality has been named, experienced, regulated, understood, and imagined.

During these centuries, homosexuality has been stigmatized as a sin, crime, or disease, and denounced as a threat to social order and national identity. Yet the rhetoric of condemnation has always co-existed with the reality of toleration. This groundbreaking collection analyzes the ways in which persecutions, as well as differences within minority sexual subcultures, have highlighted stereotypes and anxieties about class and age differences, gendered roles, and separatism.

Homosexuality in French History and Culture offers historical and literary studies based on a wide variety of sources, including:

  • novels, plays, and poetry
  • gossip and satires
  • police reports
  • medical texts
  • travel literature
  • newspapers and periodicals
  • memoirs

    Homosexuality in French History and Culture combines fresh, creative re-interpretation of familiar texts with exciting new explorations of neglected historical episodes and cultures. It is a landmark of meticulous scholarship and rigorous theoretical analysis, and a vital resource for scholars of queer theory, French history and culture, and literary criticism.

Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • “That Friendship which Possesses the Soul”: Montaigne Loves La Boétie
  • Female Friendship as the Foundation of Love in Madeleine de Scudéry’s “Historie de Sapho”
  • Masculinity and Satires of “Sodomites” in France, 1660-1715
  • The Abominable Madame de Murat
  • The “Italian Taste” in the Time of Louis XVI, 1774-92
  • “Brutal Passion” and “Depraved Taste”: The Case of Jacques-François Pascal
  • “Au sein de vos pareilles”: Sapphic Separatism in Late Eighteenth-Century France
  • The Palais-Royal and the Homosexual Subculture of Nineteenth-Century Paris
  • Les Chevaliers de la guirlande: Cellmates in Restoration France
  • Homosexuals in the City: Representatives of Lesbian and Gay Space in Nineteenth-Century Paris
  • Pederasts, Prostitutes, and Pickpockets in Paris of the 1870s
  • Drames d’amour de pédérastes: Male Same-Sex Sexuality in Belle Epoque Print Culture
  • Homosexuality in the French Colonies
  • Folles, Swells, Effeminates, and Homophiles in Saint Germain-des-Prés of the 1950s: A New “Precious” Society
  • The Birth of a French Homosexual Press in the 1950s
  • The Construction of a Political and Media Presence: The Homosexual Liberation Groups in France Between 1975 and 1978
  • Gay Mimesis and Misogyny: Two Aspects of the Same Refusal of the Other?
  • Contributors
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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