Harry Mount

‘Gay But Not Screaming’

Classified: The Secret History of the Personal Column


Random House Books 228pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

The classified columns of newspapers are strangely fertile territory for tragicomedy. Ernest Hemingway spotted the potential in his one-line short story – ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn’. 

Now H G Cocks, a history lecturer at Nottingham University and author previously of Nameless Offences: Homosexual Desire in the Nineteenth Century, has pulled off another little cracker with his history of the personal ad. 

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