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Updated 25 May 2009

Early Modern European History

Barbier, Patrick
The World of the Castrati: The History of an Extraordinary Operatic Phenomenon. Souvenir Press, 1999.
Barkan, Leonard
Transuming Passion: Ganymede and the Erotics of Humanism. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1991.
Borris, Kenneth and George S. Rousseau, eds
The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 2007). The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe investigates early modern scientific accounts of same-sex desires and the shapes they assumed in everyday life. It explores the significance of those representations and interpretations from around 1450 to 1750, long before the term homosexuality was coined and accrued its current range of cultural meanings. This collection establishes that efforts to produce scientific explanations for same-sex desires and sexual behaviours are not a modern invention, but have long been characteristic of European thought. The sciences of antiquity had posited various types of same-sexual affinities rooted in singular natures. These concepts were renewed, elaborated, and reassessed from the late medieval scientific revival to the early Enlightenment. The deviance of such persons seemed outwardly inscribed upon their bodies, documented in treatises and case studies. It was attributed to diverse inborn causes such as distinctive anatomies or physiologies, and embryological, astrological, or temperamental factors.
Brown, Judith C.
"Lesbian sexuality in medieval and early modern Europe", in Duberman et al., Hidden from History (1989), pp. 67-75.
Coward, D.A.
"Attitudes to homosexuality in eighteenth-century France", in Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson (eds), History of Homosexuality in Europe and America, New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992), pp. 35-59.
Fradenburg, Louise and Freccero, Carla (eds), with the assistance of Kathy Lavezzo
Premodern Sexualities. New York and London: Routledge, 1996.
Freitas, Roger
"The Eroticism of Emasculation: Confronting the Baroque Body of the Castrato", Journal of Musicology, 20: 2 (Spring 2003), 196-249.
This study suggests that, against the background of early modern views of sexuality, the castrato appears not as the asexual creature sometimes implied today, but as a super-natural manifestation of a widely-held erotic ideal. Recent work in the history of sexuality has shown the prevalence in the early modern period of the "one-sex" model, in which the distinction between male and female is quantitative (with respect to "vital heat") rather than qualitative. This model provides for a large middle ground, encompassing prepubescent children, castrati, and other unusual figures. And that middle ground, in fact, seems to have been a prime locus of sexual desire: the art, literature, and historical accounts of the period argue that boys especially were often viewed -- perhaps by both sexes -- as erotic objects. Further evidence suggests that this sexual charge also applied to castrati. The plausibility of such an erotic image is strengthened by investigation into the actual sexual function of these singers, which seems to have fallen somewhere between historical legend and modern skepticism. Finally, a survey of castrato roles in opera, from Monteverdi to Handel, shows how these singers were deployed and suggests that their popularity could not have depended entirely on vocal skills. Instead, I argue that castrati were prized at least in part for their unique physicality, their spectacularly exaggerated embodiment of the ideal lover.
Gade, Kari Ellen
"Homosexuality and rape of males in Old Norse law and literature", in Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson (eds), History of Homosexuality in Europe and America, New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992), pp. 114-31.
Gerard, Kent, and Hekma, Gert (eds)
The Pursuit of Sodomy in Early Modern Europe. New York: Haworth, 1987.
Gilbert, Arthur N.
"Sexual Deviance and Disaster during the Napoleonic Wars", Albion 9 (Spring 1977), 98-113.
Hekma, Gert
"Sodomites, Platonic lovers, contrary lovers: The backgrounds of the modern homosexual", Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 16, nos. 1 and 2 (1988).
Hurteau, Pierre
"Catholic moral discourse on male sodomy and masturbation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries", Journal of the History of Sexuality, 4(1) (1993), pp. 1-32.
Liliequist, Jonas
"State Policy, Popular Discourse, and the Silence on Homosexual Acts in Early Modern Sweden", Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 35, no. 3/4 (1998), pp. 15-52.
Maccubbin, Robert Purks (ed.)
'Tis Nature's Fault: Unauthorized Sexuality During the Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Meulengracht Sorensen, Preben
The Unmanly Man: Concepts of Sexual Defamation in Early Northern Society, trans. Joan Turville-Petre. Odense: Odense University Press, 1983.
Monter, William
"Sodomy: the fateful accident", in Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson (eds), History of Homosexuality in Europe and America, New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992), pp. 192-215.
Monter, E. William
"Sodomy and heresy in early modern Switzerland", in Licata and Petersen, The Gay Past, 41-53 (orig. pub. as "La Sodomie à l'époque moderne en Suisse romande", Annales esc., 29 (1975): 1023-33).
Mott, Luiz and Assuncao, Aroldo
"Love's labors lost: Five letters from a seventeenth-century Portuguese sodomite", in Gerard and Hekma, The Pursuit of Sodomy (1989), 91-101.
Murray, Stephen O.
"Homosexual acts and selves in early modern Europe", in Gerard and Hekma, The Pursuit of Sodomy (1989), pp. 457-77.
Puff, Helmut
"Localizing sodomy: the `Priest and Sodomite' in Pre-Reformation Germany and Switzerland", Journal of the History of Sexuality, 8 (1997), pp. 165-95.
Rey, Michel
"Parisian homosexuals create a lifestyle, 1700-1750: The police archives", Eighteenth-Century Life, 9 (1985), 179-91.
Rey, Michel
"Police and sodomy in eighteenth-century Paris: From sin to disorder", in Gerard and Hekma, The Pursuit of Sodomy (1989), 129-46.
Rosen, Wilhelm von
"Sodomy in early modern Denmark: A crime without victims", Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 16, nos. 1 and 2 (1988).
Rousseau, G. S.
"'In the house of Madam Vander Tasse, on the Long Bridge': A homosocial university club in early modern Europe", Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 16, nos. 1 and 2 (1988).
Rousseau, G. S., and Porter, Roy (eds)
Sexual Underworlds of the Enlightenment. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987.
Rowland, Jon Thomas
"Swords in Myrtyl Dress'd": Toward a Rhetoric of Sodom: Gay Readings of Homosexual Politics and Poetics in the Eighteenth Century. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1998.
Scholz, Piotr O.
Eunuchs and Castrati: The Emasculation of Eros, M. Wiener Publishers, US, due November 1999.
Steakley, James D.
"Sodomy in Enlightenment Prussia: From execution to suicide", in Gerard and Hekma, The Pursuit of Sodomy (1989), 163-75.
Stewart, Alan
Close Readers: Humanism and Sodomy in Early Modern England. Princeton University Press, 1997.
Turner, James Grantham (ed.)
Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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