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Sex, Dissidence and Damnation
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For the authorities in medieval Europe, both secular and ecclesiastical, dissent struck at the roots of an ordered, settled world. To allow a single heretic to escape just punishment would, it was believed, result in the decay and dissolution of the whole structure of society. So dissent was to be extirpated - initially by reason and argument, but before long with increasing savagery: by torture and imprisonment, fire and the sword. In examining the wretched lives of heretics, witches, Jews, lepers and homosexuals, Jeffrey Richards has uncovered a common motive for their persection: supposed sexual aberrance. Scrupulously researched and academically invaluable, this book is also fascinating for anyone who cares about the way society treats its minorities.' Wales on Sunday
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