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Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homosexuality
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"Abraham Lincoln arrived in Springfield, Illinois, on April 15, 1837, and met Joshua Fry Speed, who offered the new legislator half of his double bed. The two shared that bed for more than three years, and Speed would later recall that "no two men were ever more intimate." The story of Lincoln's relationship with Speed, which opens this book, transports us into a forgotten world of love between men." "Jonathan Ned Katz presents stories of men's intimacies with men in the nineteenth century, tales with all the features of a good novel: engaging characters, moving conflicts, and surprising revelations. Katz draws flesh-and-blood portraits of these intimate friendships, tracing the way men struggled to name, define, and defend their deep feelings for one another. Some of these are love stories, some sex stories, some stories about love and sex. In a world before "gay" and "straight" referred to sexuality, men like Lincoln, Walt Whitman, John Addington Symonds, and James Mills Peirce created new, affirmative ways of naming and conceiving their intimacies with other men. Katz quotes diaries, letters, newspapers, and poems of offer glimpses into an uncharted territory of romance and eros." "Love Stories is an original and engaging take on sexual diversity over time. By this book's end its many chronicles coalesce into a beautiful portrait of the varieties of love and lust in another social world."--Jacket.
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