A Little Gay History

Desire and Diversity Across the World

Columbia University Press

A Little Gay History

Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231166638

128 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $19.95£16.99

A Little Gay History

Desire and Diversity Across the World

Columbia University Press

When was the first chat line between men established? Who was the first "lesbian"? Were ancient Greek men who had sex with each other necessarily "gay," and what did Shakespeare think about crossdressing?

A Little Gay History answers these questions and more through close readings of art objects from the British Museum's far-ranging collection. Consulting ancient Egyptian papyri, the Roman Warren Cup's erotic figures, David Hockney's vivid prints, and dozens of other artifacts, R. B. Parkinson draws attention to a diverse range of same-sex experiences and situates them within specific historical and cultural contexts. The first of its kind, A Little Gay History builds a complex and creative portrait of love's many guises.
Moving and fascinating. Simon Russell Beale, The Sunday Times
Illuminating... Parkinson's book reminds us there is nothing new about homosexuality. The Times (London)
[The book] draws on 40 objects, ranging from ancient Egyptian papyri to images by modern artists, including David Hockney. The Bookseller
Parkinson successfully shows that same-sex love and desire are an integral part of human history. Publishers Weekly
[A Little Gay History] scans the Museum's collections for objects that show the complexity of desire in world cultures. From Indian gods to Emperor Hadrian, it proves that, if you swear by ancient tradition in matters of love and sex, you'll end up in the queerest spots. The Independent
[The book] explores artistic portrayals of what it means to be gay and the difficulties in finding records of same-sex desire. BBC News
This little gay history is a little terrific book...highly recommended. Library Journal
Preface
Introduction: 'A Great Unrecorded History'
Glimpses of a History
Epilogue: (Re-)Writing Histories
Further Resources
Suggested General Reading
Sources for Quotations
Image Credits

Read the introduction to A Little Gay History:

Winner, 2017 Stonewall Honor Book in Non-fiction

About the Author

R. B. Parkinson, a curator of ancient Egyptian culture at the British Museum, is internationally recognized as a specialist in ancient Egyptian poetry. His other publications include Voices from Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings; The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, 1940–1640 B.C.; and Poetry and Culture in Middle Kingdom Egypt: A Dark Side to Perfection.