Sex Gets in the Way
Two gay lives, one comfortable and middle class, the other working class and challenging, set in England, Australia and the high seas. A doctor discovers his patient's cook in a shelter on the Bournemouth cliffs. She is pregnant and ill – and dies giving birth to a son. The GP’s wife is willing to adopt the boy, but her husband thinks it would be unfair on their own son, James.
The boy, Henry, is sent to an orphanage where, at eleven, he is seduced by the priest in charge. He joins the Merchant Navy and becomes a steward on the Queen Elizabeth. Meanwhile, the more privileged James discovers that he is gay – and that Henry is too. Throughout Henry’s life he meets James on and off, and yearns to be like him.
This is the story of two gay lives, one underprivileged and the other cushioned by wealth. It is also British humour at its best, following in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Ronald Firbank, using satire to poignantly expose the snobbery of the middle classes.