Hitler's Island War
Mighty Lewd Books
Women's Writing
Sex & Civilisation
Cultural History of Sex

Volume 1: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Classical World. Edited by Mark Golden, University of Winnipeg, and Peter Toohey, University of Calgar

Though many of the sexual practices of the Ancient Greeks and Romans are known and accepted today, the meanings the Ancients associated with these acts were often utterly different from our own. Both idea and practice also varied within antiquity, shaped by locale, history, social class, age, legal status, and gender. Focusing on the cultures of the Mediterranean from 800 BCE to 800 CE, A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Classical World covers sexual practices, feelings and ideas from the time of Homer to the transformation of the Roman Empire.  A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Classical World presents an overview of the period with essays on heterosexuality, homosexuality, sexual variation, religious and legal issues, health concerns, popular beliefs about sexuality, prostitution, and visual representation. 

Volume 2: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages 800-1450
Edited by Ruth Evans, Saint Louis University

The surviving evidence for medieval sexuality is notoriously difficult to interpret, leading some to regard the period between 800 and 1450 as a time of successful Church-imposed sexual repression. But much religious art and texts appear to be unabashedly erotic whilst the literary records of the Middle Ages - confessors' manuals, ecclesiastical and civil law, virginity treatises, chronicles and literary texts - confirm that sex and sexuality were of abiding interest, revealing a lively range of sexual activities, from visiting prostitutes to becoming Brides of Christ to cross-dressing.

Volume 3: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Renaissance
Edited by Bette Talvacchia, University of Connecticut

Between 1450 and 1650, Europe saw such revolutionary cultural change that those who witnessed the transformations referred to their period as a time of rebirth. Ideas and practices around sexuality were transformed as much as any other aspect of society. Religious change, the growth of empires, educational development, social mobility, the theatre and the printing press, and medical advances all radically reshaped sexuality in the West. Focusing on texts, images and social practices, the volume examines the changing attitudes to sexuality during the Renaissance and the strategies used to both enforce and subvert public assumptions and standards.

Volume 4: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Enlightenment
Edited by Julie Peakman, Birkbeck College, London University

New worlds of sex opened up in the Enlightenment. 1650-1850 was a pivotal period, a time when old religious beliefs and medical theories about sexuality and the body clashed with new ideas emerging from natural science and philosophy. In addition, a rapidly expanding print industry fed a rapidly expanding reading public with erotica. Authorities reacted to increased urbanization, the breakdown of old community networks and fears of sexual license with a raft of new regulations designed to curtail variations in sexual behavior.

Volume 5: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Age of Empire
Edited by Chiara Beccalossi, University of Queensland, Australia, and Ivan Crozier, University of Edinburgh

The second half of the 19th Century saw intense urbanisation, the development of a consumer culture, the formalisation of gender roles, the solidification of class structures, and various encounters with the exotic customs of the colonies - all contributed to enhance sexual anxiety among the middle classes. In response, new social conventions, sanitary prescriptions, practices of self-control, and policies of sex regulation and education were developed as a means to control disorderly sexual behaviour. At the same time, though an ideology based on sexual respectability was largely promoted throughout society, significant individuals and subcultures often challenged both the principle and the practice of such morality.

Volume 6: A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Modern Age
Edited by Gert Hekma, University of Amsterdam

Sexual Cultures have changes enormously in the C20th. We have greater sexual equality than ever before and homosexuality has shifted from being a crime, a sin, and a disease to an acknowledged and sometimes legally sanctioned variation. however, many sexual practices remain demonised.

Each volume discusses the same themes in its chapters:

1. Heterosexuality

2. Homosexuality

3. Sexual Variations

4. Sex Religion, and the Law;

5. Sex, Medicine and Disease

6. Sex, Popular Beliefs and Culture;

7. Prostitution;

8. Erotica

This means readers can either have a broad overview of a period by reading a volume or follow a theme through history by reading the relevant chapter in each volume.

Julie Peakman teaches at Birkbeck College, London University. Her recent
books include Lascivious Bodies: A Sexual History of the Eighteenth Century
and Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth-Century
England. She has also edited Sexual Perversions, 1670-1890, eight volumes of Whore Bibliographies 1700-1825 and is currently writing a book on sex and civilization.

September 2010

1,600pp 244 x 172 mm 300 bw illus

HB Set 978 1 84520 702 1 £350.00