He Was Born Gay

WILLIAMS, Emlyn. He Was Born Gay.

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WILLIAMS, Emlyn He Was Born Gay William Heinemann, London, 1937.

8vo. Original blue cloth, titled white to spine, with printed dust wrapper; pp. [viii] 115; an excellent copy in a very good dust wrapper with a few small nicks and slightly faded spine.
First edition. A bizarre but fun bit of theatrical history. Authored by Williams in 1937, the play was starred in, co-produced and co-authored by legendary gay celebrity John Gielgud (eventually publicly outed after his 1953 arrest in a Chelsea men’s room) - through Gielgud, Williams would meet the “strikingly handsome” Terence Rattigan (another iconic gay dramatist), and develop a close relationship with Noel Coward (yes, another gay). I'm going to let you read into this what you will, but I think we all know what I'm suggesting, making this an interesting fragment of queer history. Anyway, the play isn't about being gay (because the term didn't really develop that meaning until decades later), consisting of a flimsy historical romance about the son of Marie Antoinette hiding out in a Dover inn, making it something of a testament to historical irony.