Graham Robb is a writer of historical nonfiction, typically grappling with large topics then moving you through their history. Starting with Parisians, a fascinating story that skips through the history of this city, all while telling fascinating anecdotes. That was the first bite, and left me craving more from this author.
That led me to Strangers, Robb’s take on homosexual love in the nineteenth century. Early in the piece, he contextualizes attitudes towards, specifically, homosexuals over the course of history.
This excerpt demonstrates one of the best qualities of this historian, the ability to take a step back and examine the totality of a trend, presenting it to the reader in a simple manner. So often in historical presentations, we fail to take that step in realizing that larger trends and patterns are perceived by those who are living through them, and may not be backed up by and form of data.