The alleged discovery of the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah by the French traveler Louis Félicien de Saulcy in 1851 provided the occasion for a series of debates in Britain on the question of biblical authority that were also, for some audiences, about examining the crimes and sins of the Sodomites and defining them openly as homoerotic lust. In this way, and at this moment, questions of same-sex desire became an important accompaniment to pressing debates about faith.

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