Radical Love by Neil Blackmore

Radical Love by Neil Blackmore

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Welcome to England, 1809. London is a violent, intolerant city, exhausted by years of war, beset by soaring prices and political tensions. By day, John Church preaches on the radical possibilities of love to a multicultural, working-class congregation in Southwark.

But by night, he crosses the river to the secret and glamorous world of a gay molly house on Vere Street, where ordinary men reinvent themselves as funny, flirtatious drag queens and rent boys cavort with labourers and princes alike. There, Church becomes the first minister to offer marriages between men, at enormous risk. Everything changes when Church meets the unworldly and free-thinking Ned, part of a group of African activist abolitionists who attend his chapel.

The two bond over their broken childhoods, and Church falls obsessively in love with Ned's tender nature. In a fragile, colourful secret world under threat, Church's love for Ned takes him to the edge of reason. Based on the incredible true story of one of the most important events in queer history, Radical Love is a sensuous and prescient story about gender and sexuality, and how the most vulnerable survive in dangerous times.

'Neil Blackmore re-imagines an astounding story of gay men in London 200 years ago and under the pain of their betrayal and injustice, he uncovers loyalty and above all, love. I relished every page.' SIR IAN MCKELLEN

'I was staggered by this book; one of the boldest novelistic explorations of desire I have read in some time. Frighteningly prescient, it shines a light on the world-making possibilities of erotic transgression and the violence that so often comes in its wake.' KEIRAN GODDARD, author of Hourglass

'Neil Blackmore's Radical Love give us Regency England and its people as they really were; brutally intolerant, scarred by slavery, marred by oppression and social injustice. Don't look for heroes here - look for life as it's really lived, people as they really are.' ANNIE GARTHWAITE, author of Cecily

Hardback / 288 pages