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“Storied” Pub Goes Gay

stevenson.jpg
Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson‘s treasured pub’s about to get a makeover. Rutherford’s bar in Edinburgh will soon become a two-story gay club.

The bar, which first opened in 1834, stood (wobbled?) as one of the Treasured Island and Kidnapped penman’s hot spots. Stevenson loved that joint so much, in fact, there’s an official plaque testimony outside its threshold.

One can’t help but wonder what Stevenson would think of this gay turn of events. Or, at least one man can’t help but wonder. Bobb Watt tells The Scotsman:

Stevenson wrote quite a bit about it. I’m not sure what Stevenson would have made of the new plans for Rutherford’s, because he was so fond of it.

However, it’s well known that he was a tolerant sort of person and I’m sure he’d have been pretty open-minded about it.

Indeed. Though there’s no evidence Stevenson got down with dudes, that doesn’t mean he didn’t flirt a bit.

From the Seattle Times.

…His manner and dress were notably fey, and he was extremely attractive to men. Scholar Andrew Lang, who was gay, said that Stevenson “possessed, more than any man I ever met, the power of making other men fall in love with him.” Harmon surmises that Stevenson “can’t have been unaware of the homoerotic forcefield he generated” and concludes that “he rather enjoyed it,” given that he was “a man with an insatiable appetite for attention and affection.”

All men really are the same.

While Stevenson’s commemorative plaque remains in place, Rutherford’s will be renamed: ‘Long John’s’. The owners dropped the ‘Silver’ because of the fish restaurant connotations – lesbians go to The Wrong Box.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jul 2, 2007
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 1 Comment
    • John C
      John C

      Elaine Showalter also quotes that line about Stevenson in her book Sexual Anarchy which has a chapter looking at a homoerotic interpretation of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. In many ways that story is more homoerotic than Dorian Gray; there’s no female love interest for a start, unlike Wilde’s tale.

      The Guardian had a recent look at that subtext here:

      http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2098477,00.html

      Jul 2, 2007 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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