Today (3 August), 9am and 9.30pm on Radio 4:
Amanda Vickery uses court cases to explore the lives of gay men and cross-dressers in the 18th century. Lesbians did not appear in court as lesbianism was not against the law – but we find and record an 18th century lesbian love song, as well as the hilarious ‘Bumography’.
Three contributors discuss the cases: leading gay historian Rictor Norton, whose books and website have a cult following; Helen Berry, historian of sexuality, whose book on castrati is published later this year, and Professor Peter King, historian of crime. They open up a debate about how far there was a clearly-defined gay identity in the 18th century.
And, of course, you can catch up later on iPlayer if you miss it first time round.