Entertaining and fact-packed, but too verbose

The author wrote this historical account in such a way that everybody, not only historians of 19th-century homosexuality, could read it. In a period when scholars mostly use a thick, obscure, academic jargon from Klingon, expressly created to prevent the "vulgar herd" from understanding what they are saying, this choice is quite refreshing and smart. Footnotes were abolished for the sake of readability, which is not good, however McKenna lists his (many) sources, divided by page of reference, in an appendix (pages 362-386), which is ok.
The iconography is astounding, very well researched, so much so that the pictures uncovered by McKenna are already spreading everywhere on the Net.
Overall, the book shows McKenna devoted himself to a painstaking and most likely time-consuming work of archival research, which resulted in an excellent harvest from him, and for us.
The reverse of the medal is that this book reads more like a novel than like a historical essay, and although McKenna is an excellent researcher, he is a poor novelist, alas. His main shortcoming is his verbosity, especially evident when he repeats in the same statement the same concept with a different set of adjectives or a different example up to four or five times.
What makes this book more of a novel than of a history book is also the fact that McKenna devotes much time and space in reconstructing intimate thoughts and emotions of the characters which mostly come from his fantasy, but sometimes are real quotations from letters and other documents, making it hard for the reader to tell what comes from the records (more often than nor summarised rather than quoted verbatim) and what comes from McKenna's imaginative power.
The book is in sum rich in new, fresh details, proposing a fascinating dearth of untapped facts and documents, but also more of a novel than of a historical source (a 40-pages paper would have sufficed to expose all of the historical discoveries contained in the 396 pages of this never-ending book: I had to skip pages and pages of intimate thoughts and hopes and fears of the characters in order to survive till the most-sought end page).
A very good reading for anybody looking for a novel, since it is based on a somewhat "queer" (in all senses) fact which caused quite a fuss in Victorian England, a somehow disappointing result for anyone, like me, who approached the book in order to get a historical assessment of the evidence available.
Still, this is currently the most accessible and most readable account of the events for anyone uninterested in a scholarly approach on the matter.

La riproduzione di questo testo è vietata senza la previa approvazione dell'autore.

Potrebbe interessarti anche…

nomeprofessioneautoreanni
Jacques d' Adelsward-FersenscrittoreVari1880 - 1923
Leendert HasenboschsoldatoGiovanni Dall'Orto1695 - 1725
Luigi PissavinipoliticoGiovanni Dall'Orto1817 - 1898
Simeon SolomonpittoreVari1840 - 1905
Arthur SomersetnobileGiovanni Dall'Orto1851 - 1926
titoloanno
Mi faccia causa1984
autoretitologenereanno
AA. VV.A queer worldbibliografia1997
AA.VV.Gay rootsmiscellanea1991
AA.VV.Pelo vaso traseiromiscellanea2007
AA.VV.Sodomy in early modern Europemiscellanea2002
AA.VV., Marina Formica, Alberto PostigliolaDiversità e minoranze nel Settecentomiscellanea2006
Joe AckerleyMio padre e iobiografia2000
Brian AldissDal buio degli anni luceromanzo1965
Walter Andrews, Mehmet KalpakliThe age of belovedssaggio2005
AnonimoHell upon Earth, or, the town in an uproarmiscellanea2012
AnonimoSentenza Braibanti, Lamiscellanea1969
Tutti i risultati (124 libri) »

Le recensioni più lette di questi giorni

  1. 1

    Altri libertini (libro, 1980)

    di

  2. 4

  3. 7

    Spartacus (film, 1960)

    di

  4. 8

  5. 9

    Amore, L' (libro, 1963)

    di

  6. 10