Cambridge Was a Hotbed of Homosexuality and Michael Portillo Was a Good Looking Boy; Gays Stalked Corridors of the All-Male College

By Houston, Simon; Buckland, Danny | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), September 10, 1999 | Go to article overview

Cambridge Was a Hotbed of Homosexuality and Michael Portillo Was a Good Looking Boy; Gays Stalked Corridors of the All-Male College


Houston, Simon, Buckland, Danny, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


THE Cambridge college, Peterhouse, and homosexuality have walked hand in hand since long before Michael Portillo first graced its doors.

Students at the oldest and most right-wing Cambridge college used to send Valentines to the dons.

All male until 1985 - when its resistance to female scholars finally crumbled - life in Peterhouse in the sixties and seventies had all the trappings of Brideshead Revisited.

Behind its thick oak doors, young men with little sexual experience, were together for long hours and some of the most outgoing gays would stalk the courtyards in search of prey.

It was this environment that grammar school boy Portillo walked into in the early 1970s when he was 18.

And for many commentators, the only surprise yesterday was that it took so long for him to admit to his previous "homosexual experiments."

He had been at Harrow County Grammar, where he was a friend of chat show host and satirist Clive Anderson. He left Anderson behind, but was joined at Peterhouse by another school chum, Nigel Sheinwald, now a high flyer in the Foreign Office.

Other young men who were to befriend the "big and awkward looking Spaniard" included media executive Simon Marquis and Nick True, now an aide to Lord Strathclyde in the House of Lords.

At Peterhouse, Portillo fell under the wing of his tutor and acclaimed historian Michael Cowling.

It was Cowling, an intellectual influence behind the Thatcherite revolution of the 1980s, who first urged the young Michael to think seriously about politics.

Cowling was as right wing as they come. His belief was to let those born to rule get on with it - preaching a type of Conservatism which was at odds with the more progressive government of Edward Heath.

Portillo is known as a man who likes to have heroes, historically and politically and the impressive Cowling became one.

His teaching style attracted him with one contemporary describing Cowling as "vampiric" in his ability to lure young men under his wing.

This was partly because he preferred to teach at night, and also because he enjoyed "drawing blood" in the fierce verbal fencing and rigorous testing which appealed to Portillo. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cambridge Was a Hotbed of Homosexuality and Michael Portillo Was a Good Looking Boy; Gays Stalked Corridors of the All-Male College
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.