The Diaries of Mr Lucas: Notes from a Lost Gay Life (Hardback)
  • The Diaries of Mr Lucas: Notes from a Lost Gay Life (Hardback)
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The Diaries of Mr Lucas: Notes from a Lost Gay Life (Hardback)

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£18.99
Hardback 320 Pages
Published: 02/05/2024
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Waterstones Says

An absolutely fascinating window into London's underground gay scene prior to the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, these colourful diaries reveal the thrills and perils of a civil servant's double life

For nearly 60 years Mr George Lucas led a double life. A mild-mannered civil servant by day, by night he was a fixture of London's colourful underground gay scene - a twilight world of petty crime, louche pubs and public toilets. He was also an obsessive diary writer.

Beginning in the early 1960s, Mr Lucas had a passionate and fraught affair with a rent boy associate of the Kray twins known as Irish Peter, one of many men Mr Lucas paid for sex. Together, Irish Peter and Mr Lucas represent the spectrum of gay criminality prior to the partial decriminalisation of gay sex in 1967.

When Mr Lucas died in 2014, he left his diaries to the journalist Hugo Greenhalgh. The Diaries of Mr Lucas combines Mr Lucas's deliciously indiscreet recollections of a life spent sometimes literally in the shadows with Greenhalgh's commentary - this is gay London like it's never been seen before.

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781838958121
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 433 g
Dimensions: 223 x 155 x 28 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

A kaleidoscopic portrait of post-war queer life... What's remarkable is the book's success in presenting Lucas in all his contradictions - Guardian

Greenhalgh has done the world a favour by rescuing these fascinating diaries. He can be reassured that, having produced this tarts-and-all portrait of a difficult man, he has done himself and his subject loud and proud. - The Times

An absorbing, illuminating, highly entertaining and often very funny book - Spectator

A provocative and mordant humour... Greenhalgh has published only choice extracts, which are enlivened by his own sparky commentary. The result is a human document of real interest - Richard Davenport-Hines, Literary Review

Fabulous - Chris Bryant, author of Code of Conduct

Deeply compelling... a fascinating account of the homosexual experience before it fought its way above ground - Buzz

The diaries of Mr Lucas - civil servant by day, outlaw by night - expose a whole hidden layer of English life. Mr Lucas's chronicle is sometimes comically Pooterish, sometimes startlingly louche, but ultimately it becomes an affecting, vividly illuminating evocation of a lost landscape and its inhabitants - Francis Wheen, author of How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World

A uniquely extraordinary archive of undocumented social history and a thrilling page-turner intersecting a criminalised queer scene with the liberations of the Swinging Sixties and the drama of London's criminal underworld. This is a dazzling debut written with intimacy, elegance, wit and compassion - Arifa Akbar, author of Consumed, longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize

A wonderful, poignant book which acts as further evidence that queer men often seem to make for the best diarists. The Diaries of Mr Lucas shines a light not only on still little-known LGBT+ histories, but also a complex, seedy, characterful London now lost to us. - Luke Turner, author of Out of the Woods

I absolutely love this book. I couldn't get enough of the outrageousness, the unbridled indiscretion, the danger, the blackmail and the lust for love. The Diaries of Mr Lucas is a real page turner, told with panache and affection. - Lord Michael Cashman, author of One of Them

At once heartfelt and hilarious, Hugo Greenhalgh's selection from Mr Lucas's diaries offers a sympathetic and occasionally steamed-up window onto a previously hidden world - Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, author of The Story of Alice

By turns tender-hearted, romantic, obsessive and plain scared, through his diaries Mr Lucas offers an important commentary on a period of sexual repression now largely forgotten. Both his ongoing internal battles with temptation and the insight he offers into the backstage lives and doings of the prominent figures around him draw irresistible and justifiable parallels with Samuel Pepys - Sarah Burton, author of The Strange Adventures of H

At turns funny, frustrating, poignant and thrilling, this book is so much more than a secret diary of 20th century gay life. Hugo Greenhalgh provides avuncular commentary and crucial context, shining a light on overlooked aspects of British social history. - Paul Baker, author of Fabulosa!

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“Unique and remarkable”

This diary is truly astonishing and a valuable slice of social history. It’s unlikely that it will ever be matched. It’s packed with detail about life as a gay man, predominantly in the 1960s, when homosexuality was a... More

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