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Drag: A British History (Berkeley Series in British Studies #23) By Jacob Bloomfield Cover Image

Drag: A British History (Berkeley Series in British Studies #23) (Hardcover)


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“A must-read for anyone interested in the history of drag performance.”—​Publishers Weekly
A rich and provocative history of drag's importance in modern British culture.  

Drag: A British History is a groundbreaking study of the sustained popularity and changing forms of male drag performance in modern Britain. With this book, Jacob Bloomfield provides fresh perspectives on drag and recovers previously neglected episodes in the history of the art form.
Despite its transgressive associations, drag has persisted as an intrinsic, and common, part of British popular culture—drag artists have consistently asserted themselves as some of the most renowned and significant entertainers of their day. As Bloomfield demonstrates, drag was also at the center of public discussions around gender and sexuality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Victorian sex scandals to the "permissive society" of the 1960s. This compelling new history demythologizes drag, stressing its ordinariness while affirming its important place in British cultural heritage.
Jacob Bloomfield is Zukunftskolleg Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Konstanz and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent. His research is situated primarily in the fields of cultural history, the history of sexuality, and gender history. He is currently working on a book about the historical reception to musician Little Richard in the United States and Europe.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520393325
ISBN-10: 0520393325
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: Berkeley Series in British Studies
"A must-read for anyone interested in the history of drag performance."
— Publishers Weekly

"An excellent examination of the complexities of various forms of stage drag and its mainstay role in British popular culture."
— Library Journal

"A new look at the history of drag. . . . Bloomfield illustrates how drag has long been a complex yet ‘ordinary’ artform, historically straddling queer radicalism and mass entertainment along the way."
— ArtReview

"A thoughtful and fascinating read."
— Everything Theater

"A fascinating overview of the story of British drag artists."
— Aleks Sierz

"An excellent primer to the complexities of drag as ‘a queer art form’ and so much else besides."
— New Humanist

"Dr. Jacob Bloomfield is the uncontested expert when it comes to the history of drag in this country."
— The Herald