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Michael L. WilsonA MOST VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION to the history of sexuality. No previous work has so illuminated the lives of Parisian working- and middle-class men who had sexual and affective relations with other men. Peniston makes expert and sensitive use of the ledger kept by the police to track the activities of 'pederasts and others' between 1873 and 1879. He expands our understanding of the interests of the police and courts in sexual dissidence, an interest much broader and more complex than simply the enforcement of laws. More strikingly, he employs both quantitative analysis and case studies to trace the social status and social relations of men engaged in same-sex activities. This book outlines in vivid and often surprising detail the urban subculture these men created, and reveals how tightly same-sex sexuality was woven into the texture of urban life.
—PhD, Associate Professor of History, University of Texas at Dallas