Robb was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages. He graduated with first class honours in 1981. After qualifying as a teacher at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 1982, he earned a PhD in French literature at Vanderbilt University and was a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford from 1987 to 1990.
He won the 1997 Whitbread Book Award for best biography (Victor Hugo) and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Rimbaud in 2001. Unlocking Mallarmé won the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars in 1996. His three biographies (Balzac, Victor Hugo and Rimbaud) were all New York Times "Best Books of the Year". The Discovery of France won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2007 and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008. His The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts (2013) proposed that the ancient Celts organized their territories, determined the locations of settlements and battles, and set the trajectories of tribal migrations by establishing a network of solstice lines based on an extension of the Greek system of klimata. The evidence included artistic geometries, road surveying, centuriations and other archaeologically attested pre-Roman alignments.
He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1998. In 2009, he became a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. After the publication of the French translation of Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, he was awarded the Grande Médaille de la Ville de Paris in 2012.
Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (February 17, 2005)
Amazon: Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century
"A brilliant work of social archaeology. . . . A major historical contribution."? Adam Goodheart, The New York Times Book Review The nineteenth century was a golden age for those people known variously as sodomites, Uranians, monosexuals, and homosexuals. Long before Stonewall and Gay Pride, there was such a thing as gay culture, and it was recognized throughout Europe and America. Graham Robb, brilliant biographer of Balzac, Hugo, and Rimbaud, examines how homosexuals were treated by society and finds a tale of surprising tolerance. He describes the lives of gay men and women: how they discovered their sexuality and accepted or disguised it; how they came out; how they made contact with like-minded people. He also includes a fascinating investigation of the encrypted homosexuality of such famous nineteenth-century sleuths as Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes himself (with glances forward in time to Batman and J. Edgar Hoover). Finally, Strangers addresses crucial questions of gay culture, including the riddle of its relationship to religion: Why were homosexuals created with feelings that the Creator supposedly condemns? This is a landmark work, full of tolerant wisdom, fresh research, and surprises. 31 illustrations
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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