As Simon Callow’s review points out not all of ‘the 17-strong Glamour Boys’ were gay, as they also included luminaries like Harold Macmillan, Anthony Eden, Duncan Sandys, Leo Amery and Winston Churchill.
However, what does stand out, is that the leadership of this group who opening stood up against appeasement when the government of the day believed unequivocally in negotiating with Hitler for peace is a testament to their strength of will. For the gay MPs, this could come at a very high price – if they were found to be in a ‘gay’ relationship of any kind they could have been in court with severe charges against them, and also the adverse publicity which as had happened in the past (Oscar Wilde) would possibly have led to them fleeing the country (but where to you might ask in the light of what was happening in German!).
There is much to recommend in this book, the accomplished multi-biography, the sensitivity in which he handles the material, the research and referencing.
In a time when we need heroes, this book highlights 17 of them to us as a nation, and in particular those of us who are gay.
- The Guardian – The Glamour Boys by Chris Bryant review – the rebels who fought for Britain
- Simon Callow reads Oscar Wilde’s Famous Prison Gay Love Letter | Attitude Pride at Home