Sunday, November 06, 2005

Charles II, The Earl of Rochester, Johnny Depp

The bisexual Earl of Rochester was a favourite of Britain's King Charles II.

Rochester wrote poetry:

There's a sweet, soft page of mine
Does the trick worth forty wenches.

In Laurence Dunmore's feature-film "The Libertine," Johnny Depp plays the libidinous John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester in the court of King Charles II

According to Amy Farmer at www.glbtq.com :

The infamous farce Sodom: The Quintessence of Debauchery has been credited to Rochester.

In Sodom, King Bolloxinion declares buggery to be the intercourse of choice throughout the land since heterosexuality is so abhorrent and unclean...

Rochester's poems participate in the libertine ethic of bisexuality so prevalent during the Restoration. Being part of the court culture not only gave Rochester his infamous reputation but also access to the aristocratic privilege of sexual liberty and experimentation. His poetic persona explores all the available avenues of sexual activity open to men of his class in the Restoration.

George S Rousseau, at www.glbtq.com, writes:

Almost from the moment of his return from exile in France in 1660, King Charles II established the tone of his court, in town and country, based on personal pleasure and liberty.

The drama, his favorite pastime, was reinstated as the main form of courtly entertainment, and sexual liberty was condoned in ways previously unknown....

The king himself was accused of engaging in overt sodomitical liaisons with the Duke of Buckingham...

Pepys's London was a world of man-boy relations in which broadsides commonly called attention to relations with pages and "link boys vile."...

It is a myth that Restoration bisexuality existed primarily in the form of male-female commensurability: that is, a man appearing with his (female) whore on one arm and his (male)catamite or "pathic" on the other. The issue is not the commensurability of both a male and female at the same time, but the interpretive problem of historical anachronism: studying the history of sexuality backward.

Indeed, we must guard against the tendency to understand homosexuality through the eyes of its later versions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The English Restoration (1660-1700) was populated with homosexual men in our modern sense, but they were neither portrayed on the stage as effeminate nor represented as flourishing in the homosexual subcultures that developed in the eighteenth century...



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