For centuries, evidence of queer love in the ancient world was ignored or suppressed. Even today, only a few, famous narratives are widely known. In this new book, Luke, with the celebrated poet Seán Hewitt, collects together forty of the most exhilarating queer tales in the classical canon.
A ground-breaking anthology that changes the way we see the ancient universe – and invites us to reflect on the puritanism of our own – 300,000 Kisses: Tales of Queer Love from the Ancient World is a riotous celebration of desire in all its forms.
"It goes without saying that my fascination with the classical world had, and still has, everything to do with its queer characters. Growing up, I loved the idea of enchanted islands, impossible journeys and sea monsters, but the concept of gay heroes (in love!) blew my mind more than talking centaurs did. When I was young, much of the finer details no doubt went over my head, but gradually I came to understand, and as I began to work through how I felt about my own identity, I found comfort and respite in these stories."
– Luke Edward Hall
Steeped in honey, Juventius,
your golden eyes, and as sweet too
when I press my lips to them -
three hundred thousand kisses
is not close to enough.
300,000 Kisses: Tales of Queer Love from the Ancient World is published by Particular Books, an imprint of Penguin in the UK, L'ippocampo in Italy and Clarkson Potter in the United States.
"It was the sense of belonging the myths gave me combined with their fantastical imagery that resonated creatively as well as personally all those years ago. Discovering the world of classical mythology lit a fire in me, and that fire has continued burning since. In fact, it burnt brighter than ever whilst I worked on this book. For the journey I’ve been on with this project, working with Sean’s beautifully alive translations, has reminded me how incredibly moving, strong and important these stories remain. Although they were told thousands of years ago, they continue to offer that same sense of deep belonging for many LGBTQ+ people today."
– Luke Edward Hall