From the immediate outset of the introduction, Lemmey and Miller shine a light on the hidden underbelly of queer history, subverting the usual curriculum with their information on Alfred Bruce Douglas, or ‘Bosie’, the lover of the better known Oscar Wilde. It’s an interesting perspective change from the martyred Wilde, and the stories of Douglas’ nefarious behaviour do well to thrill and educate readers from the get go. Although the book does ask a certain preliminary knowledge of homosexual historical figures, I’d say the work toes the line of academic and entertaining just enough to be accessible for the wider public, and but is sure to be a publication of note for those with an already existing interest in the field of homosexual history.
The work proves to be an informative yet entertaining amble through the most transgressive and shocking sides of queer history as the prose boasts witty quips as well as a well-researched historical backing.
Overall, it’s an important meditation on exactly what we view to be queer history. Lemmey and Miller work to create an overview of homosexual history that doesn’t centre the stereotypical historical martyred LGBT icons so often traipsed in ventures into the homosexual past, fighting white-centred history to provide a comprehensive history that works to decolonise our perceptions, creating an significant, inter-cultural romp into queer figures of yesteryear.