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Through 500 fascinating entries, a complete and vivid picture of gay and lesbian life in the Western world throughout the ages is painted.
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Who’s Who IN GAY AND LESBIAN
HISTORY

THE ROUTLEDGE WHO’S WHO
SERIES
Accessible, authoritative and enlightening, these are the definitive
biographical guides to a diverse range of subjects drawn from literature
and the arts, history and politics, religion and mythology.
Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt
Michael Rice
Who’s Who in the Ancient Near East
Gwendolyn Leick
Who’s Who in Christianity
Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok
Who’s Who in Classical Mythology
Michael Grant and John Hazel
Who’s Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History
Edited by Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon
Who’s Who in Contemporary Women’s Writing
Edited by Jane Eldridge Miller
Who’s Who in Contemporary World Theatre
Edited by Daniel Meyer-Dinkegrafe
Who’s Who in Dickens
Donald Hawes
Who’s Who in Europe 1450–1750
Henry Kamen
Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History
Edited by Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon
Who’s Who in the Greek World
John Hazel
Who’s Who in Jewish History
Joan Comay, new edition revised by Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok

Who’s Who in Lesbian and Gay Writing
Gabriele Griffin
Who’s Who in Military History
John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft
Who’s Who in Modern History
Alan Palmer
Who’s Who in Nazi Germany
Robert S.Wistrich
Who’s Who in the New Testament
Ronald Brownrigg
Who’s Who in Non-Classical Mythology
Egerton Sykes, new edition revised by Alan Kendall
Who’s Who in the Old Testament
Joan Comay
Who’s Who in the Roman World
John Hazel
Who’s Who in Russia since 1900
Martin McCauley
Who’s Who in Shakespeare
Peter Quennell and Hamish Johnson
Who’s Who of Twentieth-Century Novelists
Tim Woods
Who’s Who in Twentieth-Century World Poetry
Edited by Mark Willhardt and Alan Michael Parker
Who’s Who in Twentieth-Century Warfare
Spencer Tucker
Who’s Who in World War One
John Bourne
Who’s Who in World War Two
Edited by John Keegan

Who’s Who IN GAY AND
LESBIAN HISTORY
From Antiquity to World War II
Edited by

Robert Aldrich and
Garry Wotherspoon

London and New York

First published 2001 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE
Simultaneously p; ublished in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York,
NY 10001
Second edition first published 2002
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.
“To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of
thousands of eBooks please go to http://www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk/.”
© 2001, 2002 Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon for selection and editorial
matter; individual contributors for their contributions
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or
by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including
photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission
in writing from the publishers.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from
the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book has been
requested
ISBN 0-203-98675-X Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-415-15983-0 (Print Edition)

Contents
Introduction

vii

Contributors

xiv

Acknowledgements

xix

WHO’S WHO IN GAY AND LESBIAN HISTORY: FROM ANTIQUITY TO
WORLD WAR II

1

Introduction
What do Sappho, Michelangelo, Queen Kristina of Sweden, Oscar Wilde, Magnus
Hirschfeld, Colette, Henry James and Sigmund Freud have in common? Nothing at first
glance, but there is one commonality: they are all significant in the history of
homosexuality, and as such they feature in this Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History.
A Who’s Who in some ways can seem a rather quaint sort of book—potted biographies
of the rich and famous, the worthy and the nefarious, or those with some exalted position
in society which gets them included. The assumption is that someone must be relatively
important or well known as well as meritorious to appear in a Who’s Who; yet even being
written about in such a volume itself provides at least a few lines of fame. It is thus by
very definition élitist—unknown people do not make it into a Who’s Who. Indeed, it
would be rather pointless if they did, because those who consult the book need to know
the name of a specific figure in order to read about her or him. Except for those admirable
eccentrics who derive great pleasure simply from browsing through encyclopedias and
dictionaries, readers of a Who’s Who are interested in biographical information on
identifiable figures.
Professional historians may well have certain reservations about the approach to the
past implied by a Who’s Who: it smacks of the ‘great men in history’ attitude of the
nineteenth century (needless to say, our professional forebears were less concerned about
‘great women’ in history). Furthermore, those of us reared in the ‘new social histories’ of
the Annales sort, or even the old or new Marxist history, may raise our eyebrows about a
project that is necessarily based solely on individuals, with only limited scope for
discussion of social context, general trends and the activities of groups or classes, or the
impact of impersonal forces in history. As well, the overwhelming amount of discussion
in recent years about ‘identity’ and the related arguments by postmodernists and queer
theorists have raised questions about any categorisation of individuals by a single trait, in
this case that of sexual orientation. Especially with ‘deviant’ sexuality, given its longheld taboo status in many Western societies, there seems also the danger of degenerating
into high-class gossip: was one or another figure really lesbian or gay?
Nevertheless, reference books such as Who’s Who directories are essential—they are
often the first port of call for students embarking on research, for scholars needing to
check basic facts, and for general readers looking for brief introductions. Undoubtedly
more people consult, and certainly learn more from, a range of such reference books than
they do from many ponderous monographs. Given the limits but recognising the
imperatives, putting together a Who’s Who is therefore a useful undertaking.
The idea of reference works on homosexuality, including biographical ones, is not
new. After all, early writers on homosexuality, including most of those in the late 1800s
and early 1900s, listed as precursors of our tribe the great ‘gays’—or homosexuals,
sodomites, inverts, Urnings, Uranians or whatever other colloquial terms were used—of
Antiquity and afterwards. Having such illustrious predecessors could ‘justify’ what

society saw as reprobate emotions and behaviours. This approach continued well into the
twentieth century. One of the most widely circulated of the books on homosexuality
written in the ‘second wave’ of scholarly works, in the 1970s and 1980s—the time that
such pioneering scholars as Kenneth Dover, John Boswell, Lillian Faderman and Jeffrey
Weeks were giving gay and lesbian historical studies real legitimacy—was A.L.Rowse’s
Homosexuals in History. Rowse was an eminent Elizabethan scholar, and the subtitle of
his work—‘A Study of Ambivalence in Society, Literature and the Arts’—appeared to
indicate an imaginative perspective. 1 However, as many critics have noted, the work
seemed largely a project of ‘recuperation’ (as postmodernists might say): a wide range of
famous persons might be read as gay, and Rowse certainly had ample anecdotes (some of
rather doubtful provenance) to prove his point. Chapter after chapter moved through
century after century in a great gay genealogy.
Enjoyable and important as it was, Rowse’s book suffered from flaws that a number of
other writers would repeat. It presupposed that it was critical to prove that a range of
famous people were homosexual and to find the ‘stains on the sheets’, and it supposed
that almost anyone who strayed from the straight and narrow was probably ‘one of us’.
Even today, there continues to be much work that assumes that paintings of two men
gazing at each other are automatically a gay mise en scène, or that lines expressing even
the most comradely or amical bonding are proof of at least a covert or latent homosexual
relationship. This sort of approach quickly turns into chauvinism. Some works, in fact—
as in several recent American publications—do not even try to hide their inspirational
intentions and verge on the hagiographical. Not all succumb to these faults; the twovolume Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, published in 1990, remains a valuable resource,
despite criticisms of certain aspects of its scholarship. 2
Available biographical compendia display various limitations. Curiously, many such
books, explicitly or implicitly, try to provide rankings, as do the lists that come out in
Gay Times, The Advocate and other publications which list the ‘Top 100’ of gays and
lesbians of the past or present. One 1995 American publication was indeed called The
Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present,
while in the following year appeared the revised Gay Men and Women Who Enriched the
World. 3 Another problem is that many of these books are heavily weighted to the history
of homosexuality in the English-speaking world. Several are remarkably
Americanocentric. While they each generally include the usual suspects, like Sappho and
Leonardo da Vinci, they are overbalanced towards the moderns and towards the
Americans; figures from regions such as the Nordic countries and eastern Europe, for
instance, almost never appear. This is notably true of the recent Completely Queer. 4
Furthermore, the scholarly apparatus of footnotes and bibliographies is usually
rudimentary. 5 Directories in languages other than English, of which few have been
published, have been little better. Two gay encyclopedic dictionaries in French published
in recent years have a most eclectic choice of figures and only the briefest of references. 6
We have tried to learn from these earlier examples, and to avoid their weaknesses. We
have set certain clear criteria. First, we have taken as our parameters only the Western
world, where concepts such as lesbian and gay (but also homosexual) have a specific
cultural meaning. Also, it has been argued that—with notable exceptions—it is primarily
in the West that human worth has come to be valorized largely in individual terms; in
many non-Western cultures, individuality is downplayed, being subsumed under wider

social demands. Thus we focus on Europe and societies of European settlement—North
and South America, Australia, New Zealand and southern Africa. We considered that it
would be inappropriate to include entries, by name of individual, for India or Africa or
China or other non-Western regions, except in those very few cases where the persons
have become—like Yukio Mishima—part of the cultural canon of the West. Moreover,
the construction of sexuality in non-Western societies makes it hardly appropriate to
apply such terms as ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’ (or earlier variants) there. Even in this work, there
are variations in the way in which the term ‘gay’ (or other terms) has been applied,
indicating how language can be transformed when moving between cultures and periods,
or even as used by different historians.
Similarly, the very nature of a Who’s Who—a dictionary organised only by the names
of individuals—effectively vetoed the approach of using group entries (say, Danish
politicians, Portuguese writers or British activists). Although group entries may have
aided some readers, the inclusion of figures by their individual names gives greater
recognition to men and women who, though not always well known outside their own
societies, have played significant roles in gay and lesbian cultures in various countries. 7
Despite being an English-language book, this volume includes as many nonAmericans and non-Britons as possible, even at the risk of slighting the US and UK in
overall distribution. Our argument is that English-speaking readers already have much
material available on the history of sexuality in those two countries, but know relatively
little about homosexuality elsewhere in the West (including other English-speaking
countries). Thus the book pro vides in effect an overview of how homosexuality has been
perceived, and dealt with, in the Western world over the past three thousand years. Some
of the entries on the non-English-speaking figures are also more detailed than those on
Americans and Britons, and thus provide further background on historical development
and social contexts in these countries. More extensive ‘plot summaries’ present
information on writings that may not be accessible to those unable to read various
European languages. We also hope that this greater representation from the wider world
will remind readers that gay and lesbian history did not start in Christopher Street in 1969
and was not just a product of the invention of the word ‘homosexuality’ by Kertbeny a
century earlier.
The question of gender balance has been a serious one. Women have generally been
under-represented in most reference books and in many studies of gay and lesbian
history. However, after discussions with a number of women scholars, we decided that it
would be unreasonable to expect gender parity in this volume. The criminalisation of
male homosexuality in many Western societies has meant that men were thrust into the
public arena, often through court cases, in a way that women were not. Furthermore, the
domination of public life by men until very recent years has meant that many of the
‘famous’ people who warrant inclusion in a Who’s Who are male. A number of women
historians have lamented the dearth of studies of lesbianism, and even pointed to a lack of
primary materials in some areas. We can only repeat calls for further explorations of
public archives and personal papers to reveal the history of lesbians around the world.
The sexual orientation of a person has also been an issue, somewhat paradoxically for
a Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History. This book contains those figures of
importance to gay and lesbian history, whether themselves homosexual, heterosexual,
bisexual or none of the above. For example, it seemed absurd to exclude such important

figures as Freud, who was heterosexual; even prominent homophobes such as St Paul rate
an entry. So what the figures actually did in bed is really of little relevance: indeed it
seems pointless to include a figure in this Who’s Who simply because he or she is or was
famous and homosexual, unless homosexuality had some particular bearing on the
person’s public or creative life or his or her life story is in some way representative of
wider trends in history. It seemed unnecessary, for instance, to include every Renaissance
painter whose portrayal of men together might suggest homosexual interpretations, or
every Arcadian poet who wrote verses about comradely affection, or every famous
person who has been ‘outed’. Indeed, our goal is certainly not to ‘out’ people from the
past, to repeat tittle-tattle about famous people’s sexual habits, to propagate rumours with
little historical basis, or to try to claim as homosexual legions of the great and famous of
the world. Having said that, it is still interesting to note how many figures of importance
in the Western cultural pantheon are included here.
Another issue of importance we faced in compiling this work was the need to have a
thorough coverage of both what used to be called ‘high’ culture and ‘popular’ culture: to
include those who wrote for the broadsheet as well as those who wrote classics, to
include some from the ‘lower orders’ as well as those from the upper and middle classes,
and to give attention to the music hall as well as to the opera and concert hall. However,
reliable biographical material on many figures is simply not available, and this has acted
to limit somewhat the coverage of persons from backgrounds different from those who
‘created’ and recorded our ‘high’ culture in the past. The work of artists and writers is
preserved in their media, that of political leaders chronicled in the public record. Many of
the more ordinary men and women who figure here appear, ironically, because they were
‘caught’: arrested for sodomitical offences, cross-dressing or some other crime, tried and
convicted and, sometimes, executed. Those who, with great luck, got away, those who
‘passed’ with great discretion, remain anonymous.
As any editors of similar compendia know, there are an infinite number of entries that
one might include, but only a finite number of pages. We went through many books and
drew up lists of possible entries, which we then discussed with a variety of colleagues
around the world. There was unanimity on some figures—Sappho, Tchaikovsky, Wilde,
Radclyffe Hall, of course—but much difference of opinion. The list of possibly
significant others then became very long—far too long to include everyone in a book that
must, after all, cover Western history from Antiquity to the middle of the twentieth
century. Eventually, we worked out a group that we hope is both representative and
comprehensive. Here, we would particularly like to acknowledge the vital assistance
provided by our editorial advisers, specialists in particular fields, who counselled us on
the choice of figures to be included.
Readers may well feel that the list is not perfect, and some reviewers may find that
favourite figures are absent; specialists may be concerned about the representation from
their areas, whether national groups, professional fields or other divisions. Indeed, one of
the perverse pleasures of reading this book might well be searching for—and not
finding—some favourite figures.
Apart from being interesting individual stories, these biographies are also a window
through which to view wider issues: at their most basic level, they tell us much about
attitudes and behaviours in the past. For example, they suggest that, even in the West, and
within its multiple cultures, attitudes to same-sex relations have varied extensively, both

within any society and over time. This has become increasingly obvious over the past
decade, as growing amounts of scholarship have brought to light the great diversity that
existed, and still exists, in attitudes towards sexuality. We have resisted the urge to make
generalisations—which, in any case, might be dubious—about this vast procession of
‘gay’ characters on the historical timeline. We do note, however, how certain clusters
appear—from humanist philosophers in Renaissance Italy to African-American writers
and performers in Harlem in the jazz age. We also note how homosexuality has
sometimes emerged—and been studied—in different ways in various societies. There
seems, for instance, little evidence of homosexuals in nineteenth-century Canada, though
whether this relates more to the lack of historical research than to objective historical
conditions remains to be seen. Theorists of homosexuality seem particularly numerous in
late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany, while poets and novelists taking
homosexual themes are more common in France. Further east and north—for Nordic and
Eastern Europe—writers account for the bulk of these areas’ entries. Such configurations
deserve further research.
This Who’s Who, then, shows how much gay and lesbian history there is to explore,
how many individuals need to be brought to greater public attention—whether as
demons, angels or simply ‘ordinary’ people; how many figures have not received
appropriate full-length treatment, how much archival work, primary research and
empirical history remains to be done. Furthermore, it also suggests how unfamiliar many
of us are with the gay and lesbian history of such regions as Scandinavia, or the Iberian
peninsula, or Australia, despite the significance and importance of a number of figures
from those regions. Third, it provides convincing evidence of the merits of biographical
study as a lens through which to view the history of sexuality and gender, and the
usefulness of studies of individuals as a way to see into entire historical milieux and
epochs. Such a compilation of material from different societies allows for interesting
comparisons, and speculation as to what any similarities and differences might signify.
Finally, it confirms the vitality of gay and lesbian studies throughout the Western world
today.
Note: Those figures who are most often associated with the period before World War
II, or whose major activities of relevance to the history of homosexuality occurred in the
years before 1945, are included in this volume, even when they lived past 1945. Those
whose activities took place mainly in the post-war period are included in the companion
volume, Who’s Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History. This division across two
volumes has necessitated some difficult decisions, such as placing W.H.Auden and
Stephen Spender in the first volume while placing their colleague Christopher Isherwood
in the second volume, as Isherwood went on to write gay-relevant works well into the
second half of the twentieth century.
This work of reference covers figures who have had an impact upon gay and lesbian
life throughout history, and not merely individuals who were or are themselves
homosexual. Unless explicitly stated, no inferences should be made about subjects’
sexual orientation.

Notes
1 A.L.Rowse, Homosexuals in History: Ambivalence in Society, Literature and the Arts
(London, 1977).
2 W.R.Dynes (ed.), Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, 2 vols (New York, 1990). It should also be
noted that the encyclopedia did not contain entries on living persons.
3 P.Russell, The Gay 100: A Kanking ofthe Most Inftuential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and
Present (New York, 1995); T.Cowan, Gay Men and Women Who Enriched the World
(Boston, 1988; rev. edn, 1996). The second of these books has only 47 profiles, but contains
no references. An even smaller number of figures—entries on n women—are included in
R.Collis, Portraits to the Wall: Historic Lesbian Lives Unveiled (London, 1994).
4 S.Hogan and L.Hudson, Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia (New York,
1998).
5 W.Stewart, Cassell’s Queer Companion (London, 1995), is a seemingly random selection of
names, terms and other entries and contains no references whatsoever.
6 M.Larivière, Homosexuels et bisexuels célèbres (Paris, 1997); L.Povert, Dictionnaire Gay
(Paris, 1994). The former did not include women; the latter was not limited to entries on
individuals.
7 There is a valuable discussion about finding balances between men and women, the living and
the dead, the famous and the unknown, and other issues that editors of biographical
directories face in I.Calman (ed.), with J.Parvey and M.Cook, National Biographies and
National Identity: A Critical Approach to Theory and Editorial Practice (Canberra, 1996).

Contributors
Editorial Advisers and Senior Contributors
Sarah Colvin, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Giovanni Dall’Orto, Milan, Italy
Gert Hekma, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Robert Howes, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Seymour Kleinberg, Long Island University, United States
Alberto Mira, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Christopher Robinson, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Wilhelm von Rosen, National Archives of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Michael Sibalis, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada

Contributors
Brett L.Abrams, Washington, United States
Robert Aldrich, University of Sydney, Australia
Daniel Altamiranda, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Elizabeth Ashburn, University of New South Wales, Australia
Evgenii Bershtein, Reed College, United States
Eva Borgström, Gothenburg University, Sweden
Stephen Bourne, London, United Kingdom
Roger Bowen, University of Arizona, United States
Jason Boyd, University of Toronto, Canada
Scott Bravmann, San Francisco, United States
Alan Bray, Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom
David J.Bromell, Christchurch, New Zealand
Diana L.Burgin, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Andrea Capovilla, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Chistopher Capozzola, Columbia University, United States
Adam Carr, Melbourne, Australia
Vitaly Chernetsky, Columbia University, United States
Lucy Chesser, Melbourne, Australia
Joseph Chetcuti, Melbourne, Australia

Jens Damm, Free University, Berlin, Germany
Ken Davis, Sydney, Australia
Dennis Denisoff, University of Waterloo, Canada
Elizabeth de Noma, University of Washington, United States
Maria Di Rienzo, Treviso, Italy
Graham N.Drake, State University of New York at Geneseo, United States
Helen Driver, Melbourne, Australia
Karen Duder, University of Victoria, Canada
lanthe Duende, London, United Kingdom
Justin D.Edwards, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Greger Eman, Johanneshov, Sweden
C.Faro, University of Sydney, Australia
Ruth Ford, La Trobe University, Australia
Krzysztof Fordoński, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Kathleen E.Garay, McMaster University, Canada
David Garnes, University of Connecticut, United States
Jan Olav Gatland, University of Bergen, Norway
Didier Godard, Paris, France
Ken Gonzales-Day, Scripps College, United States
Michael Goodich, Univeristy of Haifa, Israel
James N.Green, California State University, Long Beach, United States
Hanna Hallgren, Stockholm, Sweden
Melissa Hardie, University of Sydney, Australia
Johan Hedberg, Göteborg, Sweden
Linda Heidenreich, University of California, San Diego, United States
Seán Henry, University of Kansas, United States
David Hilliard, Flinders University, Australia
Clifford Hindley, London, United Kingdom
Michael Morgan Holmes, Toronto, Canada
Sarah Holmes, Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Keith Howes, Sydney, Australia
Helle Jarlmose, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
James W.Jones, Central Michigan University, United States
Tuulajuvonen, Tammersfors, Finland
Marita Keilson-Lauritz, Bussum, The Netherlands
Hubert Kennedy, San Francisco State University, United States
Roman Koropeckyj, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Lena Lennerhed, Södertöm University College, Sweden
Andrew Lesk, University of Montreal, Canada
Kate Lilley, University of Sydney, Australia
Martin Loeb, Stockholm, Sweden
Jan Löfström, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Suzanne MacAlister, University of Sydney, Australia
Erin E.MacDonald, University of Waterloo, Canada
Peter McNeil, University of New South Wales, Australia
lan Maidment, Adelaide, Australia

William E.Martin, University of Texas, Austin, United States
Clive Moore, University of Queensland, Australia
Michael J.Murphy, Washington University, United States
Stephen O.Murray, San Francisco, United States
Kati Mustola, University of Helsinki, Finland
Axel Nissen, University of Oslo, Norway
Åke Norström, Lund, Sweden
Rictor Norton, London, United Kingdom
Harry Oosterhuis, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands
Salvador A.Oropesa, Kansas State University, United States
Annette Oxindine, Wright State University, United States
Johanna Pakkanen, Helsinki, Finland
David Parris, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
David L.Phillips, University of Western Sydney, Australia
George Piggford, Tufts University, United States
Gerald Pilz, Korwestheim, Germany
Roger Pitcher, University of New England, Australia
Neil A.Radford, Sydney, Australia
Tim Reeves, Canberra, Australia
Graeme Reid, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
J.Z.Robinson, Dunedin, New Zealand
Monique Rooney, University of Sydney, Australia
Johan Rosell, Stockholm, Sweden
Tiina Rosenberg, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Matthew M.Roy, University of Washington, United States
Jens Rydström, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Philippe-Joseph Salazar, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mark Seymour, Trinity College, Rome, Italy
Charley Shiveley, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States
Gary Simes, University of Sydney, Australia
Graeme Skinner, Sydney, Australia
Paul Snijders, The Hague, The Netherlands
William J.Spurlin, University of Cardiff, United Kingdom
John Stanley, Toronto, Canada
Lisbeth Stenberg, Gothenburg University, Sweden
Ingrid Svensson, The Royal Library, National Library of Sweden, Stockholm,
Sweden
Victoria Thompson, Xavier University, United States
Juha-Heikki Tihinen, Helsinki, Finland
Lutz van Dijk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Maurice van Lieshout, Utrecht, The Netherlands
A.M.Wentink, Middlebury College, United States
David West, Australian National University, Australia
Elizabeth A.Wilson, University of Sydney, Australia
Garry Wotherspoon, University of Sydney, Australia
Øystein S.Ziener, Copenhagen, Denmark

Acknowledgements
We would like to thank, at Routledge, Kieron Corless for having suggested this volume,
Roger Thorp, who encouraged us through the work and saw the book to publication, also
Ruth Jeavons and Hywel Evans. The volume benefited from Rictor Norton’s work as
copy editor. Our Editorial Advisers, in addition to writing a large number of entries
themselves, have provided regular counsel on which figures ought to be included here,
helped us locate contributors, and aided greatly in sorting out questions about the
appropriate balance between various countries, periods and domains of activity. A
particular word of thanks should go to Wilhelm von Rosen for helping us to put together
a group of Nordic entries and contributors, and to David William Foster for advising us
on Latin American entries. Henny Brandhorst at Homodok in Amsterdam helped line up
writers and entries on the Low Countries, and Vicki Feaklor, in the United States, kindly
circulated our draft lists and appeals for contributions through the e-mail list of the
Committee on Gay and Lesbian History. The contributors themselves have put together
entries which, though confined by strict word limits, often provide small-scale essays not
just on the individuals about whom they have written but on broad historical contexts.
Many contributors have willingly taken on extra entries at our request—sometimes when
other authors, alas, did not come through with the pieces they promised—and we are
most grateful.
Robert Aldrich translated the entries by Giovanni Dall’Orto, Maria Di Rienzo and
Didier Godard; Nicholas Haldosen translated the entry by Hanna Hallgren.
Julie Manley, at the start of this project, and Ruth Williams, during the last stages of
editing, provided truly invaluable secretarial assistance, and cheerfully and efficiently
handled various versions of entries, countless changes made while we edited them, and a
constantly evolving list of contributors and entries. Patrick Ferry kindly helped with the
final checking and collation.

A
Achilles
, legendary Greek figure. In the first line of the Iliad, Homer announces his poem’s
central theme: the wrath of Achilles. This anger arose from the insult suffered by
Achilles, leader of the Myrmidons, when Agamemnon, the Greek commander-in-chief,
robbed him of his concubine, Briseis. In response, Achilles, the Greeks’ greatest
champion (without whom they could not win), withdrew from battle. He sulked in his
tent until his friend, Patroclus, fighting in Achilles’ armour, was killed by the Trojan
prince, Hector. Only then was Achilles roused to fight—to avenge his friend’s death. He
massacred Trojans without mercy, until finally Hector was slain and his corpse dragged
into the Greek camp behind Achilles’ chariot.
Achilles is a legendary figure, son of the goddess Thetis and the human Peleus. He had
affairs with several women, including the princess Deidamia, who bore him a son,
Neoptolemus. His friendship with Patroclus was variously regarded. Homer never says
explicitly that they were lovers, though he portrays an emotional bond between them
which is far more intensc than that between any other pair of heroes. According to
XENOPHON, Socrates held that Patroclus was Achilles’ ‘companion’ rather than his
‘lover’. But for others (both ancient and modern), episodes such as the overflowing grief
exhibited by Achilles at his friend’s death, and the desire of Patroclus’s ghost for a
common tomb, have implied an erotic relationship.
This was the commoner view in classical times. It is movingly expressed in one of the
few fragments to survive from Aeschylus’s lost play, The Myrmidons, where Achilles
reproaches Patroclus for having deserted him by dying: ‘You showed no regard for [my]
pure worship of [your] thighs—so lacking in gratitude for so many kisses!’
It was also disputed whether Achilles or Patroclus was the older. Fbr Aeschylus, it was
Achilles. Similarly for Aelian (c. AD 200), the visit of ALEXANDER and Hephaestion
to the heroes’ tombs at Troy makes coded reference to the parallel between the
relationship of Hephaestion (as the younger beloved) to Alexander and that of Patroclus
to Achilles. On the other hand, Phaedrus, a speaker in PLATO’S Symposium, says (using
the current terminology) that Homer makes Patroclus the older (‘lover’—erastes) and
Achilles the younger (‘beloved’—eromenos).
Faced by Homer’s opaqueness, later writers interpreted the legend in terms of their
own times, thus providing icons for themselves and their successors. This process is
particularly discernible in AESCHINES’ speech Against Timarchus, where the AchillesPatroclus relationship appears as an example of legitimate eros, though it is viewed rather

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differently by Aeschines and by his opponents. For the latter, the story provides a
precedent for physical intimacy, whereas Aeschines sees Homer ‘concealing’ (but not
‘denying’) the physical passion and emphasises the heroes’ affection and mutual
devotion.
W.M.Clarke, ‘Achilles and Patroclus in Love’, Hermes, 106 (1978); D.M.Halperin,
‘Heroes and their Pals’, in One Hundred Years of Homosexuality, New York, 1990:75–
87.
Clifford Hindley

Acosta, Mercedes de
(1893–1968), American writer. The youngest daughter of a fashionable family who lived
in turn-of-the-century New York City, as a child de Acosta believed that she was a boy.
Her mother wanted a son, so she dressed de Acosta in boy’s clothing and encouraged her
to play with boys. Axel Madsen notes that an early, unpublished version of de Acosta’s
memoirs describes how the 7-year-old learned her biological sex. ‘“You’re deformed”, I
shouted. “If you’re a boy and you haven’t got this, you are the one who is deformed”, he
shouted back. By this time other boys had joined us, each boy speedily showing me the
same strange phenomenon the first boy had exhibited. “Prove you’re not a girl,” they
screamed.’
Unlike four of her older sisters, de Acosta spurned debutante balls and grand
marriages. She married painter Abram Poole in a small ceremony. As a feminist, writer
and lesbian, de Acosta retained her surname, lived apart from her husband while working
on productions, and had loving relations with famed artistic women, including dancer
Isadora Duncan and actresses Eva Le Gallienne, Alla Nazimova, Greta GARBO and
Marlene Dietrich.
Dressed in tailored suits and walking shoes, de Acosta enjoyed the speakeasies,
homosexual clubs and theatrical circles in 1920s New York City. She published two
books of poems, two novels and the plays Jeanne d’Arc (1924) and Jacob Slovak (1928).
Her theatre connections led to RKO hiring her in 1930. Though the Pola Negri movie she
was hired to write never appeared, de Acosta quickly integrated herself into the circles of
Hollywood actresses and screenwriters who held same-gender sexual interests. Similar to
Paris’ salons, these ‘sewing circles’ included actresses such as Constance Collier and
Beatrice Lille and socialites Elsa Maxwell and Elsie de Wolfe. De Acosta’s fortunes as a
screenwriter did not improve. She battled unsuccessfully with MGM production chief
Irving Thalberg to put Garbo in pants for a movie titled Desperate, then watched the star
don them in Queen Christina (1933).
Several newspaper and magazine representations of the screenwriter described her
masculine attire. Although similar to the ‘mannish lesbian’ image that demonised
lesbians in medical textbooks and pulp fiction, the depictions made de Acosta into what
historian Carroll Smith-Rosenberg labelled a second-generation New Woman. These
women used male language and images to defy gender conventions, and de Acosta’s
attire helped her form a persona that one article described as strikingly handsome. This

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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image looks manly and dignified, instead of having the delicate and graceful
attractiveness associated with females in the culture. These representations presented de
Acosta’s New Woman attitudes and interests. The screenwriter decried marriage, noting
that ‘matrimony is out of date. I don’t approve of it at all.’ After questioning the role that
society offers women, de Acosta demonstrated her ability in foreign relations, an area
that the culture of her time considered a male province. The screenwriter attempted to put
her interest into action and tried to serve in the Spanish Civil War during the mid-1930s.
De Acosta returned to the New York theatrical and art worlds in the early 1940s. Her
memoirs, Here Lies the Heart, appeared in 1960 to mixed reviews and limited public
interest. Years of failing health drained her finances and curtailed her activities by the
mid-1960s.
A.Madsen, Forbidden Lovers: Hollywood’s Greatest Secret—Female Stars Who
Loved Other Women, New York, 1996; K.Swenson, Greta Garbo: A Life Apart, New
York, 1997; H.Vickers, Loving Garbo—The Story ofGreta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, and
Mercedes de Acosta, New York, 1994.
Brett L.Abrams

Acton, Harold
(1904–1994), British writer. Acton was born at the Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy, the
son of American Hortense Mitchell, Illinois Bank and Trust heiress, and Englishman
Arthur Mario Acton, a failed artist turned avid art collector, by virtue of his wife’s
fortune and subsequent investments. A younger brother, William, a gay artist of modest
achievement, died an apparent suicide in 1944.
Raised in a household of connoisseurs, young Acton met DIAGHILEV, Jean
COCTEAU, Max Beerbohm, Reggie Turner (Oscar WILDE’S friend and disciple) and
artist Charles Ricketts while still an adolescent. Already, an avowed aesthete before
entering Eton in 1918, he and classmate Brian HOWARD were devotees of Diaghilev
and rebels against British philistinism and old-guard ‘manliness’. Champions of
RIMBAUD and the French symbolist poets, modern American poetry, Osbert,
Satcheverell and Edith SITWELL, jazz and everything connected to the modern
aesthetics of the Ballets Russes, Acton and Howard wielded enormous social, artistic and
intellectual influence during their years at Eton (1918–1922). Together they promoted
modern dandyism and founded the Eton Society of the Arts (whose membership included
Anthony Powell and Cyril Connolly), and published the Eton Candle, a literary magazine
(1922). Acton’s poetry attracted the attention of the Sitwells and led to the publication of
his first two books of poems, Aquarium (1922) and An Indian Ass (1925), works now
undeserving of their initial critical acclaim.
Unabashedly gay, Acton entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1922, succeeding as
planned to dictate fashion and taste and to ‘rule’ as he and Howard had at Eton. At
Oxford he founded the iconoclastic literary magazine the Oxford Broom. He was
immortalised by fellow Oxonian Evelyn WAUGH as the flamboyant and decadent dandy
‘Anthony Blanche’ in Brideshead Revisited (1944), a ‘smear’ which to his disgust

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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followed him throughout most of his life. During his homosexual phase at Oxford,
Waugh was one of many students to have an affair with Acton, to whom he dedicated his
first novel, Decline and Fall (1929).
With his writing career floundering, and finding Depression-era England inhospitable
to his style of dandyism, Acton travelled to Peking in 1932 to lecture, write and translate
Chinese poetry. In Peking, he lived like a mandarin, finding a new Buddhist serenity as
well as opium and fulfilment with numerous Chinese youths. It was during this period,
however, that he met Desmond Parsons, a young Englishman who, according to some
friends, was the one true love of his life. After only a brief affair with Acton, Parsons
became ill, returned to London and died of Hodgkin’s disease at age 26. In 1939, on the
eve of World War II Acton was forced to return to Britain. During the war he served in
the Royal Air Force and tried unsuccessfully to return to China, where he felt he would
have been of most value, but instead was sent briefly to India.
Despite his youthful brilliance, Acton ultimately lacked the discipline and
individuality to apply his literary and scholarly talents to lasting value or acclaim. His
contribution to twentieth-century culture was having introduced modernist aestheticism
to a generation of British writers and intellectuals, many of whose attainments ultimately
were far greater than his own. For more than half his life, Acton remained internationally
famous as a brilliant raconteur and devoted time between travels to writing fiction and
scholarly studies, and lecturing on art history. But his prime life’s work became the
preservation of the five villas, libraries and precious art collection of his 57-acre
Florentine estate, where he entertained such notables as Bernard Berenson, Cecil
BEATON, Winston Churchill, D.H.LAWRENCE, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley,
Graham Greene, Henry Moore and Prince Charles. At his death, he bequeathed La Pietra,
along with investments valued at $250–$500 million and $25 million in cash, to New
York University.
Acton’s books include works of history, The Last Medici (1932), The Bourbons of
Naples, The Last Bourbons of Naples, fiction, Peonies and Ponies (1942), and the multivolume autobiography, Memoirs of an Aesthete (1948, l971).
M.Green, Children of the Sun, New York, 1976; J.Lord, Some Remarkable Men, New
York, 1996.
A.M.Wentink

Addams, Jane
(1860–1935), American social reformer. Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois, where
her father was a mill owner, devoted Quaker and a representative to the state legislature.
Her mother died when Jane was young. She was a top student at the Rockford Female
Seminary, and after graduating, entered medical school, withdrawing because of back
trouble to return to Illinois.
In 1888 she and a close friend, Ellen Gates Starr, went to live in a poor neighbourhood
in Chicago to learn more about how they might reduce the suffering created by poverty.
In 1889 they purchased a house on the West Side of the city, Hull House, which grew to

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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become the first settlement house in America. It was a focal point for neighbourhood
social welfare programmes, advocacy, the arts and education, and a decentralised,
anarchistic organisation that later developed a reputation for radicalism.
Hull House provided playgrounds, literary clubs, an art gallery, a chorus, a theatre, a
summer school for women, a day nursery, a kindergarten, public baths, a library, a
chemist, an employment bureau, a cooperative apartment for young working women and
a Juvenile Protective Association working on issues of sexual morality, prostitution and
drug abuse.
Addams is the most well known American social reformer and a model for many
generations of social workers and advocates for disempowered people. She was the key
person to convince the American public that welfare and social programmes were both
right and practical, developing a theory and practice of social ethics that said that people
are essentially good, but that society has the potential to be corrupt and that it is the
collective responsibility of a culture to see that the environment protects and nurtures
each individual’s best qualities. Her work with low-income people set a new standard for
charitable work and helped create the concept of social welfare.
Throughout her life Addams was close to many women and was very good at eliciting
the involvement of women from different classes in Hull House’s pro grammes. Her
closest adult companion, friend and lover was Mary Rozet Smith, who nurtured and
supported Addams and her work at Hull House, and with whom she owned a summer
house in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Addams also took part in political activities in the Chicago area, nationally and
internationally. She authored ten books, and in 1915 became a founding member of the
Women’s Peace Party. However, by 1917 she became constantly ill and her activism was
somewhat curtailed. By 1926 she was a semi-invalid as a result of a heart attack, but
continued to receive numerous commendations for her work. In 1931, along with
Nicholas Murray Butler, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. She died of cancer in Chicago.
J.Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House, New York, 1910; J.B.Elshtain, ‘A Return to
Hull House: Reflections on Jane Addams’, Feminist Issues, 15, 1/2 (1997):105–13;
K.S.Lundblad, ‘Jane Addams and Social Reform: A Role Model for the 1990s’, Social
Work, 40, 5 (1995): 661–9.
Sarah Holmes

Adelswärd-Fersen, Baron Jacques d’
(1880–1923), French author. D’Adelsward-Fersen became one of the most notorious of
Europe’s fin de siècle homosexuals, principally because he was at the centre of a major
French pederasty scandal. His family, descended from the Baron Fersen who had been
Swedish ambassador to France in the reign of Louis XVI, was wealthy, royalist and
socially very well established, and he was originally destined for the diplomatic corps.
But a trip to Capri with his mother in 1897, when he may have met Oscar WILDE, seems
to have led to his decision to become a writer. He duly published his first work, a book of
poems titled Chansons légères, in 1901, and continued to write, mostly novels, for the

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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next twenty years. Although never receiving much critical acclaim or public interest, his
writings did have admirers, notably the influential woman novelist and critic Rachilde. A
more decisive influence on his life and work than Wilde was probably the poet and
novelist Jean LORRAIN, whom he encountered in Venice in 1902, and who describes
d’Adelswärd-Fersen’s racy lifestyle in Pelléastres (1910). In July 1903 d’AdelswardFersen was arrested, together with another aristocrat, Hamelin de Warren, and charged
with indecent assault and ‘exciting minors to debauchery’. The importance of the scandal
derived from the fact that the minors in question were boys of good family from well
known Parisian schools: the Lycée Carnot, the Lycée Condorcet and the Lycée Jansonde-Sailly. The occasion of the supposed offence was a series of tableaux vivants
organised at his house in which a number of the schoolboys took part, including one to
whom he had written indiscreetly passionate letters. The assault charge was thrown out,
but he was found guilty of the lesser offence and sentenced to a fine, a six-month prison
sentence and ‘forfeiture of family rights’. Consequently, he went to Capri, where he
became a central figure in the island’s homosexual expatriate colony until his death in
1923. His writings include a novel, Une Jeunesse (1906), which has a pederastic subplot;
he was also founder of the short-lived homoerotic periodical Akadémos (1909), to which
he contributed under the pseudonym ‘Sonyeuse’. But his real significance derives from
his status as an archetype of the turn-of-the-century aesthetepederast, an image embodied
in the biographical novel L’Exilé de Capri by Roger Peyrefitte.
R.Aldrich, The Seduction of the Mediterranean, London, 1993; P.Cardon, Dossier
]acques d’Adelswärd-Fersen, Lille, 1991; R. Peyrefitte, L’Exilé de Capri, Paris, 1959.
Christopher Robinson

Adrian-Nilsson, Gösta
(1884–1965), Swedish painter. Better known as GAN, Adrian-Nilsson was born in a
working-class area of the Swedish university town of Lund. In his early poems and
pictures, he was obviously influenced by Oscar WILDE and Aubrey Beardsley. He soon
came to discover Cubism and Futurism and painted his first modernistic paintings in
1913. After spending time in Berlin and Köln, he returned to Lund in 1914. During
GAN’s absence, his lover Karl Edvard Holmstöm had died of pneumonia, a loss from
which GAN never recovered. When GAN exhibited his new work in Lund, he was met
by scepticism and was labelled ‘expressionist’, which was meant to be derogatory.
After moving to the capital, Stockholm, GAN focused on painting sailors in what he
himself referred to as his ‘wild’ style. But sailors were not only a motif for GAN. He also
had them as lovers and friends. One of them, Edvin Andersson, who later changed his last
name to Ganborg, was to become a lifelong friend and promoter of GAN’s work. At this
time, modernistic painting in Sweden was dominated by pupils of Matisse, and GAN’s
synthesis of Cubism and Futurism influenced by German painting (especially Franz
Marc) was not well received by the art critics or by the public. In 1920 GAN moved to
Paris, where he rented a studio in the building where Léger worked. GAN was never a
pupil of Léger, but under Léger’s influence he started moving away from his ‘wild’ style

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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towards a more rigid one, though the motifs remained the same—athletes, bullfighters,
soldiers and sailors. In the latter half of the 1920s GAN moved back to Lund and did a
series of illuminations and paintings in an affected ‘Gothic’ style. In 1930 he took on
geometric abstraction, collaborating with his younger follower Erik Olson. He once again
moved to Stockholm, where he was to live in the same flat for the rest of his life.
After having been one of the painters introducing Surrealism in Sweden and once
again being ridiculed, GAN became bitter and chose to live in voluntary isolation. After
1940 he produced very little of value. In 1984, a grand retrospective exhibition finally
made GAN celebrated and recognised as a unique painter who had created numerous
modernistic syntheses in which his homosexual identity was by far a more important
element than any purely artistic influence.
N.Lindgren, GAN, Halmstad, 1949; J.T.Ahlstrand, GAN, Lund, 1985.
Martin Loeb

Aelred of Rievaulx, St
(c. 1110–1167), English monk, writer. Saint Aelred of Rievaulx is one of the most
passionate and engaging medieval commentators on friendship (amicitia) between men.
Many of Aelred’s writings and the biography written shortly after his death attest to the
centrality of homoerotic affection to his conception of enlightened spirituality.
Aelred was born about 1110 in Hexham, Northumberland. He came from an upperrank family which had a long history of holding important positions in the pre-Norman
Church. When Aelred was about 15 years old, he was sent to be educated at the court of
King David of Scotland, where he became a valued member of the royal household and
received an excellent education.
Had he pursued a worldly course, Aelred would likely have been offered a prominent
bishopric. However, on a journey to Yorkshire on the king’s business he was spiritually
drawn to the recently founded Cistercian monastery, Rievaulx Abbey. Aelred entered the
Rievaulx community in 1134. On a journey to Rome in 1142 he met St Bernard of
Clairvaux, at whose command Aelred, upon his return to England, wrote his first major
work, the Speculum Caritatis (The Mirror of Love). The Speculum is a treatise on love
which carefully distinguishes between worldly and spiritual varieties, the latter—referred
to as caritas—being a complete and loving surrender to Christ’s authority. This is an
important document in the history of medieval homoeroticism, for in it Aelred celebrates
an intimate friendship he had enjoyed with a fellow monk named Simon, a dear
companion who had recently passed away. In some of the biographical sections of the
Speculum (and in another work, De Institutione Inclusarutri), it appears that Aelred felt
some anxiety over the likely carnal dimension of friendships he had enjoyed while at the
Scottish court. His love for Simon, however, seems to have shown him a way to integrate
love for one’s friends and love for God in a spiritual prefiguration of heavenly bliss.
In 1143 Aelred became the first abbot of Rievaulx’s new daughter-house at Revesby.
Four years later he returned to Rievaulx as its abbot, a position he held until his death

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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over twenty years later. While leader of the Rievaulx community, Aelred composed his
most moving celebration of amity, De Spirituali Amicitia (Spiritual Friendship).
In terms of form and content the most important influence on this treatise was Cicero’s
De Amicitia (On Friendship); one can also perceive the impact of Augustine’s
Confessions and the Bible (especially Solomon’s Canticles, and the stories of DAVID
and JONATHAN, and JESUS and John). Friendship, Aelred posits, ‘is that virtue by
which spirits are bound by ties of love and sweetness, and out of many are made one’. De
Spirituali Amicitia rejects ‘puerile’ carnality and movingly elevates friendship to a quasidivine status. Drawing on the Gospel of John, one of the dialogue’s interlocutors offers
the famous Aelredian epigram: ‘God is friendship’.
The third and final part of De Spirituali Amicitia returns to the subject of Aelred’s
friendships with particular men. Here we again find mention of Simon, which is followed
by a lengthy discussion of Aelred’s passionate camaraderie with a younger, unnamed
monk who ‘mounted with me through all the stages of friendship, as far as human
imperfection permitted’. Waxing enthusiastic, Aelred goes on to recount that ‘love
increased between us, affection glowed the warmer and charity was strengthened, until
we attained that stage at which we had but one mind and one soul to will and not to will
alike’.
A major theme of Aelred’s paean to friendship is the connection between this world
and heaven. Describing his experience of sublime friendship, Aelred rhetorically asks:
‘Was it not a foretaste of blessedness thus to love and thus to be loved; thus to help and
thus to be helped; and in this way from the sweetness of fraternal charity to wing one’s
flight aloft to that more sublime splendor of divine love, and by the ladder of charity now
to mount to the embrace of Christ himself; and again to descend to the love of neighbor,
there pleasantly to rest?’ This passage and others like it attest to a profound connection
between embodied homoerotic desire and the attainment of transcendent spiritual states.
‘Fraternal charity’ is, in this life, both the starting point for divine love and, importantly,
the benefactor of such good ness as may be obtained from more spiritual fulfilment. In
Aelred’s writings and, it would seem, his life, earthly and spiritual love are not separate
and opposed but, rather, are united in Christ who is ‘the inspiration of the love by which
we love our friend’. Perhaps we can recognise here a triangulation model of desire
whereby Christ is the mediator of passion between men. When death came for Aelred in
1167 he was, says his friend and biographer Walter Daniel, appropriately surrounded by
‘twelve, now twenty, now forty, now even a hundred monks…so vehemently was this
lover of us all loved by us’.
In 1980, John Boswell argued that there ‘can be little question that Aelred was gay’.
Subsequent developments in sexuality studies lead one to question the use of a modern
identity category for the Cistercian saint. Aelred’s devotion to male friends seems to span
with ease the 800 years between our time and his; however, the ascetic quality and
ultimate spiritual orientation of these bonds likely differs from that of most ‘gay’ men
today. Boswell also noted, though, that Aelred’s treatment of friendship (along with that
of St ANSELM) differs markedly from the monastic precepts which severely censured
‘particular friendships’. Aelred’s break with tradition opens a window on a still-familiar
conjunction of homoeroticism and cultural dissidence.
Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship, trans. M.E.Laker, Kalamazoo, Michigan,
1977; J. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, London, 1980;

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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W.Daniel, The Life of Ailred of Rievaulx, trans. F.M.Powicke, London, 1950;
K.C.Russell, ‘Aelred, The Gay Abbot of Rievaulx’, Studia Mystica, 5, 4 (1982):51–64.
Michael Morgan Holmes

Aeneas
, Greek mythological figure. Aeneas is the hero of the Aeneid of VIRGIL, an epic poem
in twelve books which recounts the fall of Troy to the Greeks and the subsequent flight of
Aeneas and other Trojans to Italy where they become the ancestors of the Romans.
Aeneas was the son of Venus, goddess of love, and the Trojan Anchises, and was the
husband of Creusa, one of the daughters of King Priam. It was the rape of Helen, wife of
Menelaus of Sparta, by Priam’s son Paris which precipitated the Greek expedition to
Troy and the ten-year siege which ended only when the Greeks built a wooden horse
inside which they hid soldiers and persuaded the Trojans to take the horse into their city.
Aeneas was in the thick of the fighting, but is persuaded by his mother to flee.
Shipwrecked after various adventures on the coast of North Africa, Aeneas finds himself
at Carthage, a city being built by its queen, Dido, with whom Aeneas falls in love.
Reminded by Mercury, messenger of the gods, that his destiny lies not in Africa, but
Italy, Aeneas abandons Dido, who commits suicide as he sails away. Having reached
Italy, Aeneas visits the future site of Rome where he is entertained by Evander, a Greek
from Arcadia who has settled on the Palatine Hill. Evander’s son Pallas, awestruck by the
visitor, joins the Trojans as they fight the Rutulians under Turnus. In one of the battles,
Turnus kills Pallas and takes his baldric as a trophy, much to the distress of Aeneas, who
had promised Evander to take care of his son. The climax of the story comes in single
combat between Aeneas and Turnus: Turnus, who cannot resist the will of the gods that
Aeneas should be victor and rule in Latium, is forced to admit defeat. Aeneas, hovering
on the point of sparing his life, catches sight of Pallas’s baldric and despatches Turnus to
the underworld. Thus the work ends with the hero exacting revenge for the life of Pallas,
a conclusion which has led to debate about the character of Aeneas and the behaviour of a
hero.
The importance of Aeneas lies in his humanity and susceptibility to human emotions
and feelings, as shown especially in his relationship with Dido. While there is no
evidence of any sexual relationship with Pallas, the language used suggests an intensity
of feeling which goes beyond that which Aeneas shows to his own son Ascanius, though
similar to that which he shows his father. Virgil’s reticence on this may reflect
contemporary values; though Aeneas has a faithful companion, Achates, he does not
provide a primary emotional focus for Aeneas.
C.J.Mackie, The Characterisation of Aeneas, Edinburgh, 1988; E.Oliensis, ‘Sons and
Lovers: Sexuality and Gender in Virgil’s Poetry’, in C. Martindale (ed.) The Cambridge
Companion to Virgil, Cambridge, 1997:294–311; M.C.J. Putnam, ‘Possessiveness,
Sexuality, and Heroism in the Aeneid, in Virgil’s Aeneid: Interpretation and Influence,
Chapel Hill, 1995:27–49.
Roger Pitcher

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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Aeschines
(c. 390–c. 322 BC), classical Greek orator. The Athenian orator Aeschines was a leading
player in the diplomatic and military manoeuvres which reached their climax in the battle
of Chaeronea (338 BC), where Philip of Macedon defeated a Greek alliance (led by
Athens and Thebes), and effectively ended the age of independent Greek city-states.
Aeschines entered politics late, having first served in the army (for which he was
decorated), and then worked as a clerk to various magistrates and as a tragic actor. The
latter experience honed his skills as an orator in the democratic Assembly, through which
lay the route to political leadership. In 346 BC he emerged as a member of two
delegations, the first seeking (unsuccessfully) to negotiate a common alliance with other
Greek states, and the second commissioned to treat with Philip for a settlement—the
short-lived ‘Peace of Philocrates’ (346 BC).
At this stage Demosthenes, the greatest orator of the age, was associated with
Aeschines in the search for peace, but a fundamental split soon developed between them.
Aeschines came to stand for peaceful coexistence with Philip, whereas Demosthenes,
distrusting Philip’s intentions, advocated resistance by force. The split turned to bitter
enmity when (later in 346 BC) Demosthenes, assisted by a lesser figure named
Timarchus, prepared to prosecute Aeschines for his part in the peace negotiations,
charging him with accepting Macedonian bribes. (The twists and turns of the ensuing
diplomacy over several years cannot be pursued here, but Demosthenes finally won the
political argument at the cost of military defeat on the field of Chaeronea.) It is against
this background that we must view Aeschines’ speech against Timarchus—one of the key
documents for understanding homosexual practice in classical Athens, and the basis for
K.J.Dover’s epoch-making book on the subject.
Aware of Demosthenes’ bribery charges, Aeschines resolved to get his legal blow in
first. He prosecuted Timarchus under a law which forbade any citizen who had engaged
in prostitution to speak in the assembly or exercise other civic rights, the belief being that
no one prepared to sell himself could be trusted not to betray the state’s interests for gold.
The aim of the prosecution was not to uphold public morality but to destroy Timarchus
politically and weaken his associate, Demosthenes. In view of this, and the flimsiness of
the evidence, the truth of some of the charges may be open to question. But to support
Aeschines’ case they must have been believable as pertaining to the life-style adopted by
some upper-class Athenians, and therein lies their interest for us.
Aeschines’ speech begins with a catalogue of the laws which regulate the behaviour of
young boys and those put in charge of them: opening hours of schools and gymnasia, the
supervision of attendants and trainers, the ban on parents or other relatives hiring out
their kin for prostitution. As for adults, though a moral distinction is drawn between the
role of the kept man (hetairos) or prostitute (pornos) on the one hand and ‘honourable
love’ (dikaios eros) on the other, there seems to have been no law banning prostitution as
such on the part of a citizen: indeed it emerges later in the speech that the state exacted a
tax on prostitutes.
Aeschines claims that by common repute, Timarchus practised prostitution in several
forms over many years. His reports are graphic. Once past puberty, Timarchus went to
live with a doctor in the Piraeus, pretending to be a medical student, but in fact living as a

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rent boy. He attracted the attentions of an apparently respectable and wealthy (older)
citizen named Misgolas, who paid Timarchus a large sum to come and live with him.
Devoted to music and amazingly keen on boys, Misgolas found Timarchus ready for
every kind of sensuality, whether in sex or gluttony. So claims Aeschines, though his
recognition that had Timarchus done no more than stay as Misgolas’s lover his conduct
would have been ‘reasonable’ suggests a degree of exaggeration in the charges of
unbridled dissipation.
Leaving Misgolas, Timarchus took up with a certain Anticles, and after him a wealthy
slave in the public services named Pittalacus, whom he met while dicing and cockfighting. Once again nameless abuses of Timarchus’s body are mentioned. There next
appeared a man named Hegesandrus, an eminent citizen who had been paymaster with a
general in the Hellespont. Returning to Athens, Hegesandrus lured Timarchus away from
Pittalacus. The ensuing bad blood erupted in a drunken public brawl, in which Pittalacus
received a whipping. Lawsuits followed, but Pittalacus, recognising that his money could
not win against Hegesandrus and his upper-class friends, withdrew. Aeschines damns
Hegesandrus with the claim that as he now kept Timarchus as a woman, so he had
previously lived as the wife of a man named Leodamas. Here (and elsewhere) the
severest censure is due to a man who allows himself to be used as a woman.
But while Aeschines lambasts Timarchus and his friends for sexual excesses, he is
careful not to condemn ‘honourable eros’. He imagines a general coming to the rostrum
to attack him for undermining the basis of Athenian culture. His critic will recall the great
heroes who were lovers—HARMODIUS AND ARISTOGITON, ACHILLES and
Patroclus. Aeschines endorses friendships of this kind, quoting Homer, and capping the
reference with a couplet of Euripides in praise of an eros which leads to virtue. He also
recognises that parents pray for handsome sons, and expect them to have lovers. He even
names five mature men of eminent beauty among his contemporaries, who had many
lovers without attracting censure, and three youths and boys of whom the same could be
said. Perhaps most remarkably, Aeschines acknowledges that he himself is erotikos (a
lover of boys), and has been involved in quarrels on that account. He had also written
poems (by implication, of an amatory nature), though they had sometimes been
misrepresented.
The charges of prostitution were supplemented by accusations of wasting a substantial
patrimony and, in the event, Timarchus was found guilty of speaking unlawfully in the
Assembly. As for Aeschines, his political career continued until he lost his final
oratorical encounter with Demosthenes—over the question whether the latter deserved a
‘crown’ for his services to the state (330 BC). He died around 322 BC.
K.J.Dover, Greek Homosexuality, London, 1978; R.L.Fox, ‘Aeschines and Athenian
Democracy’, in R.Osborne and S.Hornblower (eds) Ritual, Finance, Politics, 1994;
E.M.Harris, Aeschines and Athenian Politics, New York, 1995:Chap. 5.
Cliffbrd Hindley

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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Agathon (and Pausanias)
(c. 450–399 BC), classical Greek dramatist. As a leading poet and writer of tragedies,
Agathon would have qualified for a substantial entry in any Athenian Who’s Who
published in the early fourth century BC. He was ranked next to the three great tra
gedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, whose work is still celebrated today. But
none of Agathon’s plays has survived, and his work is known only through a handful of
brief fragments. He is also remembered as the lover of Pausanias in a relationship which
(by ancient Greek standards) was of exceptional longevity.
The son of Tisamenus of Athens, Agathon was born around 450 BC. In his poetry he
developed a florid style under the influence of the sophist Gorgias (a style reflected by
PLATO in the encomium on love assigned to Agathon in the Symposium). He was the
first to write interludes for the chorus unconnected with the plot of the play; he also
sometimes invented plots and characters rather than follow the earlier custom of drawing
upon well known mythological stories.
Agathon won first prize for tragedy at the festival of Lenaea in 416 BC, and the
banquet described in Plato’s Symposium, hosted by Agathon himself, was held to
celebrate this victory. Also present was Pausanias, by then long recognised as Agathon’s
erastes (lover). We first meet this couple at a distinguished gathering in the house of
Protagoras the Sophist, dated to 433 BC. Here Agathon is referred to as a youth in his late
teens, possessed of a noble nature and great beauty. He reclines next to Pausanias, and,
says the narrator, ‘I would not be surprised if he turned out to be Pausanias’s boyfriend’
(Plato, Protagorus 315). As for Pausanias, he is clearly already a grown man, and in
Plato’s Symposium (set some fifteen years later), it is clearly acknowledged that he and
Agathon are lovers. Indeed, ARISTOPHANES in the dialogue refers to them as perhaps
an example of those homosexual couples who (in his myth) result from the bisection of
an originally all-male creature.
Virtually nothing is known of Pausanias outside of Plato’s Symposium. It seems,
however, fair to assume that his contribution to the dialogue represents the kind of thing
the historical Pausanias might have said. It describes an ideal of boy-love, in cluding
physical intimacy, provided that the relationship serves a pedagogical purpose and is
untainted by the expectation of financial or political gain. As for Agathon, tradition
depicts him as effeminate and sexually passive. In Aristophanes’ play of 411 BC,
Thesmophoriazousae (in the Penguin translation, The Poet and the Women), not only is
Agathon’s literary style parodied, but the poet himself appears in drag and (in
Aristophanes’ uninhibited way) is said to be readily available to be fucked.
It seems that Agathon and Pausanias remained together iri the following years. When,
some time between 411 and 405 BC, Agathon settled in Macedon under the rule of King
Archelaus (a noted patron of the arts), Pausanias followed him. Also resident there was
the poet Euripides, who himself had an erotic interest in Agathon (though by this time
Agathon was aged 40 and Euripides was 72). Of this period Aelian records that when
king Archelaus rebuked Agathon for constantly quarrelling with his lover, he replied that

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it was because the pleasure of making up was so great. On another occasion, the king
admonished Euripides for kissing the bearded Agathon at a banquet. He replied that with
handsome men, the autumn was as fair as the spring.
Many questions about these amours are unanswerable, but the history of Agathon and
Pausanias may remind us, in the continuing debate about the norms of Greek pederasty,
that the experience of long-lived relationships was not unknown.
K.J.Dover, ‘The Date of Plato’s Symposium’, Phronesis, 10 (1965):2–20, reprinted in
K.J. Dover, The Greeks and Their Legacy, Oxford, 1988:86–101; K.J.Dover, Greek
Homosexuality, London, 1978; D.Ogden, ‘Homosexuality and Warfare in Ancient
Greece’, in A.B.Lloyd (ed.) Battle in Antiquity, London, 1996:107–68.
Clifford Hindley

Aguiar, Asdrúbal António d’
(1883–1961), Portuguese medical doctor. Aguiar was born in Lisbon; he graduated in
1912 and immediately entered the Institute of Forensic Medicine of Lisbon as an
assistant. He made his career in this institution, rising to a senior position. He also held a
number of other posts, including a teaching post in the Faculty of Medicine, and, as an
Army captain, was responsible for the medico-legal services of the Lisbon Garrison.
Aguiar became Portugal’s leading expert on forensic medicine. He published
extensively on the subject, both as a practical discipline and as an aid to interpreting
history. Many of his works relate to sexual offences, including rape and indecency. He
wrote accounts of the female sexual organs and described sexual and gender anomalies of
various types. These included male homosexuality and lesbianism, to which he devoted
several works.
In Evolução da Pederastia e do Lesbismo na Europa (Evolution of Pederasty and
Lesbianism in Europe), written in 1918 and published in 1926, he described the situation
of homosexuals, both male and female, in the countries of Europe, including Portugal.
The opening chapter summarises contemporary knowledge about manifestations of
homosexuality, noting that homosexuals were to be found in all social classes, and listing
the slang terms, meeting-places, occupations, average ages of male prostitutes, examples
of blackmail, ways of dressing and talking, physical characteristics, emotional
relationships, sexual practices and social behaviour of male homosexuals and lesbians.
The sources are the medical and forensic treatises of the late nineteenth century. The rest
of the work comprises a vast compendium of historical information about male and
female homosexuality, divided by period and country. Although most of the content is
drawn from published works, the section on contemporary Portugal includes a number of
recent anecdotes and reproduces case notes on prisoners arrested for homosexuality
whom Aguiar had personally interviewed. The final part summarises Portuguese law on
homosexual acts. This work is written from a detached, professional viewpoint and is
relatively objective.
Aguiar’s work complemented that of another author published under the auspices of
the Lisbon forensic institute. Arlindo Camilo Monteiro was a doctor interested both in the

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history of medicine and in artistic and literary matters who gave a number of papers at
scientific conferences before moving to Brazil. His Amor Sáfico e Socrático (Sapphic and
Socratic Love), published in 1922, is a compendious work containing information on all
aspects of homosexuality but concentrating on Portugal. In the first part, Monteiro
describes the historical evidence for homosexuality in Antiquity and in the countries of
Europe and the rest of the world, before going into more detail about the Iberian
Peninsula and Portugal. The longer second part of the work covers contemporary
scientific knowledge about homosexuality. Drawing extensively on French, German and
Italian writers, Monteiro discusses aspects of male and female homosexuality, bisexuality
and hermaphroditism, psychiatric and medical theories, therapeutic and preventative
measures, and the legislation of foreign countries and Portugal.
Monteiro’s work is more impassioned than that of Aguiar. He frequently uses negative
moralistic terms to describe homosexual activity and even defends the Inquisition against
its nineteenth-century critics, yet the sheer amount of detail and the care with which
documents are transcribed suggests a labour of love. Occasionally he slips into a defence
of homosexuals against the more extreme attacks of writers such as Francisco Ferraz de
MACEDO, and he acknowledges the widespread prevalence of the phenomenon.
The two works show how far contemporary medico-scientific knowledge about
homosexuality had been absorbed in Portugal by the 1920s. Their greatest interest today,
however, lies in their transcription of legal texts and references to historical events. With
their detailed footnotes, they serve as invaluable guides to historians.
Other Portuguese doctors who wrote on homosexuality during the first half of the
twentieth century include Egas Moniz, one of the leading medical authorities of the day,
who thought that homosexuals could be cured, and Luís A.Duarte Santos, a lecturer at the
University of Coimbra. Writing in 1943, Duarte Santos rejected the idea that
homosexuality was inborn, arguing that it was caused by external factors and that
homosexuals were responsible for their actions. He applauded the recent dismissal of the
poet António BOTTO from his government post.
A.A.d’Aguiar, Evolução da Pederastia e do Lesbismo na Europa: Contribuição para
o Estudo da Inversão Sexual (published in Arquivo da Universidade de Lisboa, 11
(1926):335–620, and separately as the author’s Sciencia Sexual: Contribuições para o
seu Estudo. Livro V.Homosexualidade [1927?]); A.C.Monteiro, Amor Sáfico e Socrático,
Lisbon, 1922; E.Moniz, A Vida Sexual: Fisiologia e Patologia, 4th edn, Lisbon, 1918;
L.A.Duarte Santos, Sexo Invertido? Considerações sobre a Homossexualidade, Coimbra,
1943.
Robert Howes

Alan of Lille
(c. 1128–1203). Alan studied at Paris, and taught at both Paris and Montpellier, joining
the Cistercian order towards the end of his life. Named a doctor universalis of the Church
because of his learning, he produced literary, theological, penitential, exegetical and
pastoral works that exercised considerable influence at the nascent University of Paris.

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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Some of his work has been subject to conflicting interpretation, such as the rather obscure
poetic De planctu naturae, written sometime before 1171 in accordance with the strict
rules of classical rhetoric revived in the twelfth-century schools. It has been argued that
the work was directed against the allegedly scandalous behaviour of Archbishop Roger of
York, an opponent of the martyred Thomas à Becket. Alan attacks the weakening of
mankind through subjugation to the senses, and sodomy is taken particularly as a
metaphor for the denial of the natural aim of humankind, i.e. the bearing of children.
In his sermons on capital sins, Alan argued that sodomy and homicide are the most
serious sins, since they call forth the wrath of God, which led to the catastrophic
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, so vividly described in Scripture. The continuing
absence of life at the Dead Sea is proof of the destructive results of such sin. His Ars
praedicandi, a manual for preachers, suggested the use of Biblical, classical and patristic
sources in the composition of the ideal sermon directed against sins and providing
parallel virtues in order to combat them. His chief work on penance, the Liber
poenitentialis (1201/ 3?), dedicated to Henry de Sully, the Archbishop of Bourges,
exercised great influence on the many manuals of penance produced as a result of the
Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which required every Christian to confess and undergo
suitable penance at least once a year. Alan’s identification of the sins against nature
included bestiality, masturbation, oral and anal intercourse, incest, adultery, rape, sexual
relations with nuns and ‘sodomy’, and provides detailed accounts of the proper penance
to be prescribed for such acts. In addition to his battle against moral decay, Alan wrote a
work against Islam, Judaisrn and Christian heretics (i.e. the Waldensians and Cathars),
dedicated to Guillaume VIII of Montpellier, an area in southern France where heresy
abounded.
M.D.Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology, Chicago, 1997; G.R.
Evans, Alan of Lille, the Prontiers of Theology in the Later Twelfth Century, Cambridge,
1983.
Michael Goodich

Alcuin
(c. 732–804), English teacher. Possibly born of a noble family, Alcuin was educated in
the cathedral school at York and ordained a deacon in his youth. vfclberht, his teacher,
friend and patron, had been in turn a pupil and friend of Bede. Alcuin succeeded Ælberht
as master of the school of York in 767, and accompanied him on various journeys to the
Continent.
In 781, he met Charlemagne at Parma, and was invited to head up Charlemagne’s
Palatine School, which he did from 782. Charlemagne’s court, itinerant from 782 to 793,
eventually settled at Aachen, where Alcuin occupied an eminent place amidst an
international élite of scholars, including Theodulf of Orléans, Angilbert, Einhard, Peter of
Pisa, Paulinus of Aquileia and Paul the Deacon. He made only two return visits to
England, in 786 and 790–793. In 796, Alcuin was asked to provide leadership to the
troubled Abbey of St Martin’s at Tours, where he remained until his death.

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Alcuin’s achievements included his considerable effectiveness as a teacher and
educational administrator, regulation of the liturgy of the Frankish church, collating and
re-editing the Latin Bible, reforming continental script, and presiding over the first phase
of the Carolingian Revival. He was not an original thinker, and his legacy of Latin verse
is competent but scarcely distinguished.
Some of his poetry (all of which is dated prior to 781–782) is homoerotic, emphasising
the spiritual and idealistic aspects of his love for his friends and pupils. At Aachen, his
pupils were given pet names, derived from classical allusions, chiefly from VIRGIL’S
Eclogues (themselves frequently homoerotic in tone).
Of 300 surviving letters, written in Latin, most date from the last decade of his life,
and furnish very little information on his childhood, youth or early adulthood. The tone of
‘passionate friendship’, not uncommon between the religious in the early Middle Ages,
can be gauged from the following letter (Epistle 10): ‘I think of your love and friendship
with such sweet memories, reverend bishop, that I long for that lovely time when I may
be able to clutch the neck of your sweetness with the fingers of my desires. Alas, if only
it were granted to me…to be transported to you, how would I sink into your embrace,
…how would I cover, with tightly pressed lips, not only your eyes, ears, and mouth but
also your every finger and your toes, not once but many a time.’
At the end of his life, Alcuin had a reputation for holiness, yet he is not included in the
canon of saints and never advanced to holy orders beyond those of deacon.
J.Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western
Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century, Chicago,
1980; P.Goodman (ed.) Alcuin, the Bishops, Kings and Saints ofYork, Oxford, 1982.
David J.Bromell

Aleramo, Sibilla
(1876–1966), Italian writer. The carefree and happy childhood of Sibilla Aleramo, who
was born Rina Faccio in Alessandria, came to a dramatic end at the age of 16, when she
was forced to marry the man who had raped her. The future author of the novel Una
donna (1906), her masterpiece and a true and accurate denunciation of the condition of
women in Italy at the beginning of the century, attended only primary school. In Una
donna Aleramo recounts her own life down to her decision to leave both the husband
who had been imposed on her and their son. She moved to Rome, where she lived with
the poet Giovanni Cena, did voluntary social work, worked in the cause of Italian
feminism, was active in the National Women’s Union and organised evening and holiday
schools for the poor and for women.
In 1908, at a women’s congress, she met Cordula (Lina) Poletti, a student nine years
younger than herself. It was Poletti who declared her love for Aleramo and, a year later,
they began the relationship which the author described in the novel Il passaggio (1919).
Il passaggio won flattering praise from COLETTE, Romaine BROOKS and Anna de
Noailles, but Italian critics were divided between supporters and detractors. Aleramo and
Poletti were too different from each other; even as Aleramo continued to remain

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fascinated by the one who seemed the very incarnation of the ‘new woman’ and whose
freedom, assertiveness and pride she appreciated, she remarked with increasing
annoyance on Poletti’s efforts to ‘masculinise’ herself. ‘She felt she had a man’s heart’,
Aleramo wrote in Il passaggio, ‘but I—no one can judge whether more dementedly or
clairvoyantly—was instead touched by what remained in her of that which was identical
to my own self.’
In one of the one hundred letters which remain of their correspondence, Aleramo
exhorted Poletti not to reject her own femininity and to live out her love for women as a
woman. Their relationship came to an end after about a year. In 1910, Poletti entered a
marriage of convenience, quickly followed by a separation. Aleramo meanwhile in 1913
went to Paris, where she frequented the salon of Natalie Clifford BARNEY and wrote the
story ‘La Pensierosa’ (collected in Andando e stando), in which, proceeding from
feminist theory, she delineated a visionary apologia for feminine spirituality separate
from and independent of masculine spirituality. In Andando e stando (1921), Aleramo
vividly described the world of Parisian lesbians through impassioned portraits of Colette
(‘Listen to her song, and ask for nothing else’), Barney (a spirit ‘of amber and steel’) and
de Noailles (‘a delightful miracle: a woman and a genius, a queen and a fawn’). For the
rest of her life, Aleramo wandered between Paris and Capri, from Corsica to Assisi. As a
Communist activist in the post-war period, she incessantly travelled around Italy giving
lectures to worker and peasant groups. Her contacts with the modest people who came to
hear her and showered her with affection and gratitude moved her deeply, and reinforced
her great dream of one day being able to see a better life for all of humanity: ‘on our earth
worthy at last of grain, olive and rose’ (as she said in the last verses of her poem ‘Va
lontano il nosto sorriso’ in Luci della mia sera, 1956).
B.Conti and A.Morino (eds) Sibilla Aleramo ed il suo tempo, Milan, 1981; Sibilla
Aleramo. Coscienza e scrittura, Milan, 1986; A.Buttafuoco and M.Zancan (eds) Sibilla
Aleramo: una biografia intelletuale, Milan, 1988.
Maria Di Rienzo

Aletrino, Arnold
(1858–1918), Dutch author. This doctor and novelist belonged to the second generation
of the literary bent of the 1880s that brought modern literature to The Netherlands.
Aletrino wrote some very sombre novels on the life of hospital nurses. He specialised
in criminal anthropology and wrote his first essay on ‘uranism’ in 1897. It was a review
of M.A.RAFFALOVICH’S Uranisme et unisexualité (1896). He was the first Dutch
figure of some repute to defend the naturalness of homosexual desire, and would continue
to write on the topic, shifting his position from the stance of Raffalovich—that
homosexuals can be as masculine as normal men—to the position of Magnus
HIRSCHFELD—that they are a third sex. In 1901 he addressed the fifth conference of
criminal anthropology, held in Amsterdam. His position that uranism is natural and
should be accepted was opposed by most other participants, foremost by Cesare
Lombroso, the Italian founder of the discipline. After the conference, the Calvinist prime

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minister raged against the University of Amsterdam, where Aletrino, he claimed, would
teach the sins of Sodom. When his friend Jacob Israël DE HAAN published the first gay
novel, dedicated to him and having him as a leading character, Aletrino was not amused
and bought all available copies to save his reputation. His subsequent booklet on uranism
was published under a pseudonym. In 1912 he belonged, but only in name, to the
founders of the Dutch chapter of the Wissenschaftlich-humanitare Komitee. Aletrino was
married twice and laboured under severe addiction to morphine. There is reason to
assume that his portrait by de Haan as bisexual and slightly sadist was not far from the
truth.
K.Joosse, Arnold Aletrino. Pessimist met perspectief, Amsterdam, 1986.
Gert Hekma

Alexander the Great
(356–323 BC), Hellenistic ruler. Alexander became king of Macedon in 336 BC, shortly
after his father, Philip, had won hegemony over the Greek states at the battle of
Chaeronea (338 BC). The young prince had been given a Greek education under the
philosopher Aristotle, and among his classmates was a young Macedonian named
Hephaestion, who was to become his lifelong friend.
Alexander himself was possessed with the ambition to lead Macedonians and Greeks
in a great war of revenge against the Persian Empire. Launching his invasion of Asia
Minor (modern Turkey) in 334 BC, he had within ten years established himself as king,
by force of military conquest, from the Aegean seaboard to the northwest frontier of
India. In 324 he returned to the Persian capital, worn out by the unremitting pursuit of
glory (and, it must be said, alcohol). The following spring he fell ill of a fever and died
on 13 June 323 BC.
One ancient writer claims that Alexander was madly keen on boys, but only two
names of possible male lovers are known to us—Hephaestion and Bagoas. Hephaestion
remained a devoted companion until his death in 324 BC, and also played an important
military and public role, first as commander of the Companion Cavalry, and later as
‘Chiliarch’, second in rank only to the king himself. No ancient source declares
unequivocally that they were lovers, though a number of anecdotes show that they were
extremely close. Thus, on a visit to Troy, Alexander laid a wreath on the tomb of
ACHILLES, while Hephaestion similarly honoured that of Patroclus. Following
Hephaestion’s death, Alexander exhibited an extravagant grief. He lay long hours on the
corpse, and would not be comforted. He ordered public mourning, funeral rites on a
gigantic scale, and the payment of semi-divine honours to Hephaestion.
Being about the same age, the two men did not conform to the usual pattern of Greek
pederasty. We may surmise, however, that in their youth they had had a love affair whose
physical passion matured into a close friendship of mutual esteem and affection—an
evolution which Aristotle noted in his Ethics as a common occurrence.
Far less prominent, but high in Alexander’s affections, was the Persian eunuch,
Bagoas, described by Plutarch as the king’s eromenos (beloved boy). A youth of

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outstanding beauty, Bagoas was brought to Alexander as a gift by a high-ranking Persian,
who hoped to secure favours for himself. Bagoas’s influence over the king could be
turned to intrigue—as when he plotted the destruction of a courtier who publicly called
him the king’s whore. The troops, however, seem to have relished the relationship. In a
great public dancing contest, the prize was (unsurprisingly) awarded to Bagoas. But when
he took his seat beside Alexander, the crowd insisted that the king kiss his favourite—
which he did, apparently with gusto.
Alexander also married at least three wives, two of them for political reasons. His last
marriage, to the Bactrian Roxane, was, seemingly, a love match. She bore him a
posthumous son.
That an absolute ruler should enjoy multiple sexual affairs was unremarkable, but
Alexander’s love for Hephaestion was no mere dalliance, and it must have pro vided
significant support for him in all his frenetic activity. As for Bagoas, beyond the sex and
the sinister intrigues, one can per haps see here one of many indications of Alexander’s
desire to transcend the racial divisions of his empire.
Alexander was not the only Greek general to have pederastic relationships. Many
instances can be quoted, both honourable and the reverse: from lovers standing by one
another in battle, to commanders deserting their posts for their lovers’ embrace. An
honourable military pederasty was supported by the belief that a lover’s presence would
inspire a man to avoid the shame of cowardly action. This was the rationale for the
famous Sacred Band of Thebes, which was composed of pairs of lovers. Numbering 300,
the Band was established around 378 BC. It fought in many campaigns culminating at the
battle of Chaeronea, where its warriors died to a man defending the Greek alliance
against Philip of Macedon.
P.Green, Alexander of Macedon, London, 1991; E.Badian, ‘The Eunuch Bagoas’,
Classical Quarterly, NS 8 (1958); T.Africa, ‘Homosexuals in Greek History’, Journal of
Psychohistory, 9, 4 (1982); D.Ogden, ‘Homosexuality and Warfare in Ancient Greece’,
in A.B.Lloyd (ed.) Battle in Antiquity, London, 1996.
Clifford Hindley

Algarotti, Francesco
(1712–1764), Italian essayist, popular science writer, poet and diplomat. Born in Venice,
the son of a merchant, Algarotti attended excellent schools, showing interest in both
science and literature. Indeed he won acclaim as a writer of books on science for the
general public; one of his most famous works was Il newtonianesimo per le dame
(Newtonism for Ladies), published in 1737.
In 1734 he had visited Paris, where he made friends with the leading figures of the
French Enlightenment, among them VOLTAIRE. Two years later he was in London,
where he was made a fellow of the Royal Society. Algarotti also met Lord John Hervey
(1696–1743), a politician notorious for his bisexuality, who, according to Rictor Norton,
‘fell passionately in love with him. Unfortunately Hervey’s very good friend Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu proved to be his rival…, for Algarotti was also bisexual. Thus began

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one of the silliest love-triangles in the eighteenth century. After a brief summer in
London,… Algarotti returned to Venice…. Soon he received an avalanche of billets doux
from both of his devoted English admirers. Lord Hervey wrote, ‘Je vous aime de tout
mon coeur’ [‘I love you with all my heart’]; Lady Mary wrote, ‘Je vous aimerai toute ma
vie’ [‘I will love you all my life’]. Hervey and Lady Mary boasted to one another how
frequently they were receiving letters from Algarotti. In one pair of letters that must have
been a source of great amusement to the young Italian, Hervey invited Algarotti to come
to him in England while Lady Mary invited herself to go to him in Italy. Algarotti
returned polite encouragements to both, but had his own affairs to attend to. At this
precise moment he had taken up with a young man named Firmaon in Milan, with whom
he made a leisurely tour of southern France. Lord Hervey playfully scolded Algarotti for
not writing more often; Lady Mary sent agonizing pleas for more missives. Lord Hervey
wisely controlled his hurt; Lady Mary foolishly kept posting cris du coeur. Lord Hervey
grew jealous; Lady Mary became distraught.’
Algarotti expressed thanks to Hervey, dedicating to him six of the letters which make
up one of his most celebrated works, Viaggi di Russia (1739–1751). When he returned to
London in 1739, he stayed with Hervey, who thereby saw him again. Only three months
after arriving, however, Algarotti left for Russia, whence he wrote to Hervey and asked
the Englishman not to forget him and to continue to love him. Hervey put on a good face,
but Lady Mary, by contrast, left her home, family, friends, husband and country and fled
to Venice, hoping to be reunited with her lover as soon as he had returned from his
journey.
On his way back to London, Algarotti stopped for eight days at the Prussian court,
where he made the acquaintance of the heir apparent, Frederick (1712–1786), his exact
peer, who found him irresistible. Eight months later, after the death of the old king, the
new King FREDERICK II of Prussia (later called Trederick the Great’) asked Algarotti
to attend his coronation. Again abandoning Hervey (Algarotti was never to see him
again), Algarotti moved to Prussia. He became the king’s intimate friend—soon replacing
his previous lover, Baron Keyserling—and, over the next decade, amassed honours,
political appointments (notably as court chamberlain), the title of count and diplomatic
postings. He nevertheless did not renounce affairs with other men, as evidenced by a
letter from Voltaire, who joked on 15 December 1740 that seeing ‘tender Algarotti
strongly hugging handsome Lugeac, his young friend, I seem to see Socrates
reinvigorated on Alcibiades’ back’. (Charles-Antoine de Guerin, Marquis de Lugeac, was
an attache at the French embassy in Berlin.) Algarotti and Frederick’s idyll lasted for two
years; in 1742, when their relations cooled, the Italian joined the court of the King of
Poland in Dresden. In 1746, the two made up and Algarotti returned to Frederick in
Potsdam, though not to the king’s bedchamber, which was now filled with grenadiers.
In 1753, in declining health because of tuberculosis, Algarotti left for Italy, where he
dedicated himself to writing and study, and continued to exchange courteous letters with
Lady Mary. The search for a healthier climate in the last years of his life led Algarotti to
Pisa, where he eventually died. Frederick the Great, in memory of their relationship,
constructed an imposing mausoleum for him; it is still visible in the southern wing of the
famous Camposanto.
G.Dall’Orto, ‘Socrate veneziano’, Babilonia, 165 (April 1998):88–9; M.Elliman and
F. Roll, The Pink Plaque Guide to London, London, 1986:100–1; R.Halsband, Lord

Who's who in gay and lesbian history

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Hervey: Eighteenth-Century Courtier, Oxford, 1973; R.Norton, Mother Clap’s Molly
House, London, 1992:146–58.
Giovanni Dall’Orto

Alger, Jr, Horatio
(1832–1899), American author. Born the son of a Harvard-educated Unitarian minister in
Chelsea, Massachusetts, Alger’s name is synonymous with the American dream of ragstoriches personal success. He owes his place as a cultural symbol more to biographers
and historians than to the reality of his life and achievements.
Only five-feet-two-inches in adulthood, Horatio was a frail child and was educated at
home until age 10. Entering Harvard in 1848, he was an excellent student, eighth in his
class in 1852. Encouraged by receiving the Bowdoin Prize for his writing efforts at
Harvard, Alger first attempted to establish himself as a poet while moving through a
variety of teaching, writing and editing jobs. Although a number of his stories and poems
were published in Harper’s and Putnam’s magazines, he was unable to make a living as a
writer. He entered Cambridge Divinity School in 1857, graduating in 1860, after which
he toured Europe. Returning from Europe, he settled in Cambridge and continued to
teach and write. In 1864, the year Frank’s Campaign, his first juvenile fiction, was
published, he was appointed minister of the Unitarian Society in Brewster,
Massachusetts. Alger’s tenure as Brewster’s popular Unitarian minister came to a sudden
end in 1866, when he was ignominiously dismissed for having ‘indecent relations’ with a
number of local youths, allegations which he made no effort to deny.
After a quiet ‘disappearance’ from Brewster, Alger relocated to New York City, which
would remain his home for the next three decades. There he began to write in earnest,
producing nearly one hundred juvenile novels. In 1867, Ragged Dick, Alger’s most
popular and only best-selling novel, was published, followed by a seven-book series,
including Mark the Match Boy and Ben the Luggage Boy, titles which, regardless of
Alger’s intentions, seem aimed at an audience which shared his sexual preferences. Over
the next decade, the prolific writer produced numerous multi-volume juvenile series with
individual titles such as Tattered Tom, Phil the Fiddler, The Young Outlaw, Luck and
Pluck and the Pacific Series, for which he made the first of two tours of the American
West to gather local colour. The tone of these novels, in which Alger poses as a highly
moralistic teacher of young boys, seems to reflect a conscious effort to atone for his early
shame as well as to counteract what were surely persistent desires. Personal motives
aside, Alger’s social consciousness was genuine and throughout his life he espoused
environmental, temperance and children’s aid reforms. Despite his constant stream of
publications, he was never financially secure and for many years augmented his income
by tutoring the children of wealthy New Yorkers, including banker Joseph Seligman. In
1896, when years of overwork precipitated a decline in his always poor health, Alger
retired to South Natick, Massachusetts, where he died.
The pervasive Horatio Alger myth, in which the author is lionised as a champion of
capitalism and personal financial success, is in direct contrast to his moral tracts in which

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young boys, virtuous by nature, struggle against temptation, including the mercenary
evils of the Gilded Age, to lead successful and morally upright lives. Were it not for a
misrepresentation in a turn-of-the-century edition of the Dictionary of American
Biography of the significant influence of works such as Struggling Upward and The Store
Boy, Alger might have receded into historical obscurity. Instead, mid-century historians
picked up on the exaggeration and created a myth. Reputable scholars, including Samuel
Eliot Morrison, Henry Steele Commager and Frederick Lewis Allen, credited him as one
of the great mythmakers of the modern world with a cultural influence surpassed only by
Mark Twain’s. In reality, his modestly successful, albeit prolific, output could lay no
such claims on culture in his own lifetime, and throughout his career he struggled without
success for acclaim as a major writer not of juvenile novels but adult fiction. Alger, who
never married, was successful, however, in shrouding his personal life in complete
privacy. Other than respectable relationships with young students, relatives and wards, it
remains unsubstantiated that he ever continued or found fulfilment in the kind of
relationships for which he was banished from Brewster.
E.P.Hoyt, Horatio’s Boys; The Life and Works of Horatio Alger, Jr., Radnor, Penn.
1974; G. Scharnhorst, The Lost Life of Horatio Alger, Jr., Bloomington, Ind. 1985.
A.M.Wentink

Andersen, Hans Christian
(1805–1875), Danish author. Born into the lowest proletariat of the Danish provincial
town of Odense, Andersen in 1819 travelled to Copenhagen in order to pursue a career in
the theatre. A process of upward social mobility that was remarkable for his times now
began. He lived by himself, had very little money, but was financially supported by
patrons to whom he had introduced himself. His strange ability to gain entrance into the
families of the middle and upper classes, even the royal family, probably owed much to
his talent for being sweetly and weirdly entertaining and amusing. One of these houses
was the Collin family, which for the rest of his life became the centre of his existence.
Jonas Collin, a prominent civil servant and co-manager of the Royal Theatre, took charge
of Andersen’s education and secured a royal grant through which Andersen was a
boarder at the high school (gymnasium) from 1822 to 1828. In 1829 he published his first
novel. From then on he was a well known literary figure in Copenhagen. Novels, poems,
travelogues and plays followed. In 1833–1834 he travelled on a royal grant through
Germany and France to Italy. From 1840 travelling became an almost compulsive habit
which took him (in 30 trips) to all corners of Europe and made him the most
cosmopolitan of Danish authors. ‘To travel is to live’, he said.
In 1835 Andersen published his first collection of the fairy tales that made him
immortal among poets. In an autobiographical sketch two years earlier, he had written of
his own life as a fairy tale, in which the hand of God directs everything for the best. In
1847 he published his autobiography, The Fairy Tale of My Life. By then he had achieved