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15 February 2015 @ 01:48 pm
Guardian Books piece: The secret history of same-sex marriage  

I remember reading at least one review of the author's book (The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala) that suggested that his claims were too broad, but the article was an interesting read nonetheless.

This is one of those topics that I wrote a research paper or two on in college (one on Charlotte Charke, from whence comes nearly all my knowledge of the eighteenth-century stage; the other on women's "romantic friendships" in nineteenth-century America), in addition to reading the usual Alan Bray and Stephen Orgel that happen to you if you take a class on popular culture in early modern Europe or are interested in Renaissance stage practices (or both!), so I often feel like I have just enough familiarity with this topic to regret how little I actually know about it.

(This is why I never miss grad school - where almost all of my essays were hastily cobbled together attempts at trying to pontificate about a text I'd barely read, and argue with critics I didn't have time to understand about things I didn't even care about much anyway, while doing that for four classes at once - but often wish I could have the experience of college again, where a knowledgable expert sits you down with a carefully chosen reading list, and then you get to do some research at the end of the process, about something you found interesting over the course of the semester. College was fun.)

(NB: I think other people have grad-school experiences that are more about actually learning and attempting to master a subject, instead of the "just go and be brilliant" attitude that dominated my program.)