Magazine article History Today

Matt Houlbrook, Book of the Year Winner

Magazine article History Today

Matt Houlbrook, Book of the Year Winner

Article excerpt

Matt Houlbrook, winner of the Book of the Year award, is a thirty-year-old lecturer in 20th-century cultural history at the University of Liverpool. 'This is extremely unexpected, and an incredible honour', he said, on receiving his award. Coming from Scunthorpe, a town he considers to be an unlikely seedbed for historians, his PhD at Essex in the late 1990s formed the basis for his award-winning volume Queer London.

He explains: 'The book was driven by the incredibly vivid stories of individual men's lives--stories that revealed a world that was never supposed to have existed. It started with the letters I found in an Old Bailey file at the National Archives in Kew, written by a young man called Cyril in 1934, detailing all the exciting men he had met, the nightclubs he had visited, and how he was enjoying life in the big city. He wrote, "I have only been queer since I came to London about two years ago, before then I knew nothing about it." Arriving in London opened his eyes to a life he never knew was possible; being in the city meant he could explore his sexuality. He soon realized however, that new opportunities came at a price; he was later arrested for being in a club frequented by gay men. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.