Before the Closet by Allen J. Frantzen
Same-Sex Love from "Beowulf" to "Angels in America"

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Allen J. Frantzen challenges the long accepted view that the early Middle Ages tolerated and even fostered same-sex relations and that intolerance of homosexuality developed only late in the medieval period. Frantzen shows that in early medieval Europe, the Church did not tolerate same-sex acts, in fact it was an age before people recognized the existence—or the possibility—of the "closet."

With its ambitious scope and elegant style, Before the Closet sets same-sex relations in Anglo-Saxon sources in relation to the sexual themes of contemporary opera, dance, and theatre. Frantzen offers a comprehensive analysis of sources from the seventh to the twelfth century and traces Anglo-Saxon same-sex behavior through the age of Chaucer and into the Renaissance.

"Frantzen's marvelous book . . . opens up a world most readers will never have even known was there. It's a difficult topic, but Frantzen's comprehensive, readable and even wryly funny treatment makes this an unexpected pleasure."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

About Allen J. Frantzen

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Allen J. Frantzen is a professor of English at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of "Before the Closet: Same-Sex Love from "Beowulf" to "Angels in America,
Published November 15, 1998 by University Of Chicago Press. 380 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Loyola University English professor Frantzen brings the ""shadows"" of same-sex relations (""as closely attached to heterosexual relations as shadows are to their objects"") into relief by highlighting their centrality in everything from operatic ""trouser roles,"" in which women dress as men in ...

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