Material and Visual Cultures Beyond Male Bonding, 1870-1914 presents the first cross-disciplinary analysis of the visual and material representations and spaces of male same-sex culture in turn-of-the-century Britain which positions intimacy as its central object. Through both historical and theoretical lenses, this groundbreaking study considers photographs, interior design, decorative art, architecture and illustrations from the popular press to reveal the interwoven narratives of intimacy, aesthetics and identity. The author sustains close readings to expose the challenges the representations of 'men together' posed not only for the men of the time, but also for the contemporary viewer and scholar.
Contents: Intimacy: looking through material and visual remnants; Bodies beyond the frame: emulation, homosociability and a queer decorative ideal; Crafting bodies of desire: C.R. Ashbee and the Lads; Steamy boundaries: Turkish baths, homosocial health and male bodies on display; 'Friendship as a way of life': subjectivity and visions of desire; 'The ideal divide: the closet; Select bibliography; Index.
John Potvin is Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, Canada. He is also editor of The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800-2006 (2008) and is co-editor with Alla Myzelev of the forthcoming Ashgate book Material Culture in Britain, 1750-1920: The Visual Meanings and Pleasures of Collecting.
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