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BOOK REVIEW: Speak it’s Name!: Quotations by and about gay men and women

December 16, 2016

speak_its_nameSpeak it’s Name!: Quotations by and About Gay Men and Women

Simon Callow, Christopher Tinker

This collection of quotations by and about gay people is a celebration of the advances in LGBT rights in the UK over the last half-century and a demonstration of the battle against oppression and prejudice that led to them. From a diverse range of people across the world, funny ones are interspersed with extracts from revealing interviews and diary entries.

Amusing observations by No√ęl Coward, Tallulah Bankhead, Quentin Crisp, Boy George and Alan Bennett are interspersed with extracts from revealing interviews with Dusty Springfield, Ian McKellen, Freddie Mercury, Clive Barker, George Michael and William S. Burroughs and diary entries by Kenneth Williams, Joe Orton, W.H. Auden and John Maynard Keynes.

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John Gielgud and Alan Turing’s disturbing accounts of their arrests at a time when homosexual acts were punishable with a prison sentence contrast with touching love-letters from Violet Trefusis to her lover, Vita Sackville-West, King James I to his favourite, George Villiers, Marquis of Buckingham, and between Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears, all demonstrate the enormous developments in gay rights in Britain in the last five hundred years, with a focus on the last century.

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A delightfully well presented and researched classy addition to anyone’s queer book-stack but then the author bring a heft of percipient¬†experience¬†with him¬†Christopher Tinker¬†Editing¬†Manager of the¬†National Gallery and an introduction from ¬†Simon Callow all round lovvie extraordinaire.¬†

Out now £16.99

Hardback

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