The study of male homosexuality in late Victorian and early twentieth-century Britain has received considerable attention in recent decades, though research of historical evidence is far from exhaustive. The problems facing the historian in this field are greater than the addition of new evidence to the historical lexicon. There are significant intellectual disagreements to contend with. In part, these contentious debates are symptomatic of the tensions arising between academic disciplines regarding their own traditions of approach to the ‘subject’ of the male homosexual. The notion that sexuality and homosexuality in particular were subjects within the remit of the historian has only gained credibility in the last 30 years. Much of the historiography in this field challenges the long-standing claims of disciplines such as sex psychology and the genetic sciences that sexuality belongs exclusively to the realm of scientific enquiry. However, the methodological and ideological approaches adopted by many historians engaging with sexual identity formations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries make many of the studies in this field highly problematic as works of historical writing.


Nineteenth Century Sexual Identity Homosexual Identity Queer Theory Male Homosexuality 
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© Sean Brady 2009

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