A new book by Robert Aldrich, a professor of European History, delves into the personal life stories of various important LGBT historical figures. In Gay Life Stories, each beautiful chapter gives voice to one of the 80 people Aldrich writes about—individuals whose lives were extraordinary and impacted the historical LGBT landscape and culture.
The array of personalities celebrated in this book is astonishing. Aldrich shines a spotlight on several famous figures, such as Michelangelo, Frederick the Great and Harvey Milk. However, even more interestingly, many stories examine the lives of lesser known, but equally important, gay individuals who achieved greatness in poetry, art, and politics. Included are even spies, philosophers and rulers, such as Dong Xian and the Chinese emperor Ai, as well as Robert de Péronne, the first person burned at the stake for sodomy.
The book is visually stimulating as well, containing relevant pictures and photographs of paintings, illustrations, and archival drawings. And each story feels important and relevant to a complete understanding of the varied but universal history of the LGBT community.