Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe Male-Male Sexual Relations, 1400-1750

Noel Malcolm

Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe Male-Male Sexual Relations, 1400-1750

Noel Malcolm






18 Apr 2024


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$58.95 AUD

$67.99 NZD


Forbidden Desire is a pioneering study of the history of male-male sex in the whole of Early Modern Europe, including the European colonies and the Ottoman world. It discusses not only the extraordinary range of sexual activities, some of them very different from present-day behaviour, but also the legal norms, religious principles, and literary representations. Through a mass of individual human stories, Noel Malcolm offers a gripping resolution to the long-running debate about the origins of modern homosexuality. It will fascinate anyone interested in how human behaviour, even at its most intimate, can change over time.


Gregorio and Gianesino
Diplomats, Renegades, and Catamites
Ottoman Realities
Western Mediterranean Realities: Men and Boys
Contexts of Sexual Life
Typical and Untypical
The Western Mediterranean Lands
Theology and Religion
Law and Punishment
Literary Works
Western Mediterranean Attitudes
Ottoman Religion, Law, and Culture
Northern Europe: Broad Patterns
Northern Europe: Forms of Sexual Behaviour
Northern Europe: Contexts of Sexual Life
Northern Europe: Literary Works
European Colonial Societies
England after 1700
France and the Netherlands after 1700
Conclusion: From Sodomy to Homosexuality


Sir Noel Malcolm , Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Noel Malcolm gained his doctorate at Cambridge, where he began his career as a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, teaching History and English Literature; he was later Foreign Editor of the Spectator. In 1999 he was a lecturer at Harvard; he gave the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford in 2001. Since 2002 he has been a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has published numerous books and articles on early modern intellectual history, and Balkan history and culture. He was knighted in 2014 for services to scholarship, journalism and European history.