John Lauritsen, The Shelley-Byron Men: Lost angels of a ruined paradise, Pagan Press 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0-943742-30-4, $16.  Printed case binding, Smyth-sewn.  Publication date: 1 May 2017.

    In this book, gay historian John Lauritsen tells a story that will not be found in standard biographies.  In 1822, two great poets — Percy Bysshe Shelley and George Gordon, Lord Byron — lived in Pisa, Italy, together with three friends.  They met daily in Byron's palazzo. 
    Although these men had wives and children, male love was an important part of their lives.  They thought of themselves as “pariahs” in “exile”, and for good reason.  Men and boys in their home country, England, were being hanged for having sex with each other, whereas Italy had no such laws.
    All of them were ardent Hellenists, who knew that male love had flourished in Ancient Greece — the same male love that was persecuted in their own time.
    Despite the censorious efforts of friends and family, ample evidence survives that they loved other males.  Homoeroticism in their works was usually coded for the “initiated”, but was sometimes amazingly candid.   
    John Lauritsen de-codes homoerotic references, reinterprets major works of English Romanticism, and places all in historical context.  He states: “Love and sex between males is an ordinary, healthy part of the human sexual repertoire.  For too long,  biographers  have falsified the love lives of the Shelley-Byron men.  The time has come to bring them into the light of day.”

• To read a review by Jesse Monteagudo click here.

• To read a review by Caroline McCullagh in Mensa Bulletin click here.

• To read a review by "CrabbyPatty" (Gay Books Review) click here.

• To read a review by Kevin Jones (Amazon) click here.

    The Shelley-Byron Men is sold by Amazon
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