ShakesQueer: A resource list

  This LGBTQ+ History Month we’re sharing books, digital resources, podcasts and more, to further explore sexuality in Early Modern England

2 minute read

This February we’re celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month by exploring our past and its relation to Shakespeare in all ways. Below, Dr Will Tosh shares some of his favourite queer resources, including books, digital resources, research projects, museums, archives and podcasts, where people’s experience of sexuality through the ages can be explored, and where learning and discussion can start.

Most of these resources can be accessed for free online. For book purchases, please support your local independent bookshops – we’d recommend Gay’s The Word.


Classic books about queer Shakespeares, and the queer Shakespearean past.

  Homosexuality in Renaissance England (1982) by Alan Bray

  Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England 1550–1735 An Anthology of Literary Texts and Contexts (2013) edited by Marie H. Loughlin

  Shakesqueer A Companion to the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (2011) edited by Madhavi Menon

  The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England (2002) by Valerie Traub

Digital resources

   A Bit Lit
Conversations about history, culture, and creativity with scholars from all over the world, with a rich selection of queer topics

   Roaring Girl: London’s Sharp-Elbowed, Loudmouthed Mary Frith and Life Story: Thomas(ine) Hall
Two stories of extraordinary gender-nonconforming people from the 17th century

   Black and Gay Back in the Day
A photo-archive of Black queer experience in Britain

Research projects

   Engendering the Stage
UK-Canadian project investigating early modern women’s performance, as well as traces of trans and queer identities on the early modern stage

Museums & Archives

   LGBTQ+ Archives at the Bishopsgate Insitute
One of the most extensive collections of LGBTQ+ history, politics and culture in the UK, covering the late nineteenth century onwards

   Queer Britain
Get in early, and support this charity working to establish the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum


   Bad Gays
A podcast about ‘evil and complicated queers in history’. Why do we remember our heroes better than our villains? Hosted by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller

   The Log Books
Stories from LGBTQ+ life in Britain as told by the volunteers of Switchboard. Hosted by Adam Zmith and Tash Walker

   This Movie is Gay
Hosts Emma Rosa Went and Hailey Bachrach uncover the gay vibes in all your favourite movies