London's Cultural Guide

MUST DO: Queer Between the Covers

Last chance to catch 250 years of LQBTQ+ literature in Senate House


ucked away on the fourth floor of the serene Senate House Library sits a showcase of over 250 years of queer literature. Discover 50 carefully selected works of satire, autographed manuscripts, illustrated novels and pulp fiction book designs, as well as rare editions by the likes of Virginia Woolf, WH Auden and Oscar Wilde.

With fact-filled pamphlet in hand, there’s opportunity to see the autobiography of dancer Maud Allan, who sued for libel in 1918, after being accused of representing a German plot to send 47,000 gay men and women to Britain to seduce the population.

Alongside this sits Shakespeare’s Sonnets (with a 1778 editor’s note suggesting a queer interpretation), plus documents from ‘Operation Tiger,’ the 1984 raid of independent Bloomsbury LGBT+ bookshop Gay’s The Word from which 144 titles were confiscated for being obscene. Fascinating.

Free, runs until June 16th Senate House, Fourth Floor, WC1E. More info here.

Main image: Senate House Library


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