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David Boyd wrote:
> 

> ps Carroll
> 
> Whatever the draconian penalties for it, 'sodomy' was a very
> well-established (almost institutionalised) part of English culture,
> especially in closed, exclusively-male communities such as the Royal
> Navy; the Church and especially the 'public' schools (Eton etc.),
> where most of the nation's future leaders and thinkers and writers
> grew up.

Yes -- as the quotation from Austen underlines: "Edmund again felt
grave" He doesn't doubt the fact but he is trying to form a positive
opinion of Miss Crawford, and her making puns about sodomy oesn't fit
the picture he wants to hold of her. The sodomy at Eton would have
formed a "Public School Culture," not a "Gay Culture." The  emergence,
however, of a "gay culture" around the turn of the century must have
introduced an ambiguity into that public school culture that was not
there before.

Carrol