By Peter Ackroyd
In Queer City Peter Ackroyd seems to be at London in a complete new approach – during the background and studies of its homosexual inhabitants.
In Roman Londinium the town was once dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public excitement houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then got here the Emperor Constantine, along with his bishops, clergymen and missionaries. And so begun an unending loop of alternating permissiveness and censure.
Ackroyd takes us correct into the hidden historical past of town; from the infamous Normans to the push of executions for sodomy within the early 19th century. He trips in the course of the espresso bars of sixties Soho to homosexual Liberation, disco song and the horror of AIDS.
Today, we are living in an period of openness and tolerance and Queer London has turn into a part of the hot norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden tale of the way it received there, celebrating its range, thrills and effort at the one hand; yet reminding us of its very genuine terrors, hazards and hazards at the different.
'Peter Ackroyd is the best dwelling chronicler of London' Independent