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December 27 , 2009

Closet Queens

Some 20th Century British Politicians


Closet Queens is a fascinating study of gay men in twentieth century British politics, from Lord Rosebery and Lord Beauchamp in Edwardian times to Michael Portillo and Peter Mandelson in our own era.

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Diaries, 1942-1954

The diaries of the National Trust's country house expert James Lees-Milne (1908-97) have been hailed as 'one of the treasures of contemporary English literature'. The first of three, this volume, which includes interesting material omitted when the diaries were originally published during the author's lifetime, covers the years 1942 to 1954,…

As all homosexual activity was illegal until 1967, and exposure meant ruin and disgrace, such men were obliged either to repress their sexual feelings or else lead double lives, indulging their tastes secretly while respectably married with children.

The need to cover up their sexuality, while causing problems and disappointments, often sharpened their skills as politicians - they were masters of secrecy and subterfuge, and knew how to take calculated risks.

An entertaining and insightful account of some extraordinary personalities, Closet Queens opens doors into a hidden world.

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