Nobody does ferocious politeness quite like the British. This week, the late-night discussion programme Free Thinking (Radio 3, Thursday) was the scene of a bloody intellectual routing. The American journalist and academic Naomi Wolf was there to discuss her new book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love, with presenter Matthew Sweet.
Wolf’s book details the cases of gay men she claims were executed in 19th-century Britain for sodomy, which is part of an overall argument that homosexual love was extremely dangerous in a culture of censorship long before the infamous conviction of Oscar Wilde. But Sweet took issue with a major element of that argument.
He claimed that, in...
Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles
- Unlimited access to Premium articles
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Cancel any time
Free for 30 days
then only £2 per week
Save 25% with an annual subscription
Just £75 per year