When I first read Oh, for a French Wife! my gaydar twitched. When I read the Sydney Morning Herald obituary notice of his death, it went into overdrive: no mention of a wife or children, the kind of obituary of that time, April, 1982, whose coding could be read by other homosexuals, like me, but not by the general public. This paper uses the framework of gay male culture and camp developed by gay academic David Halperin to read three cookbooks authored or co-authored by Moloney as gay culture/camp texts.: Oh, for a French Wife! (1953), Cooking for Bachelors (1959 later republished as The Young Gourmet’s Cookbook 1968) and Cooking for Brides (1965). The paper places the books in the gay male books are placed in the context of the gay culture in Australia of the 1940s – 1970s.
Paul van Reyk is a food writer and food activist. Paul has published articles in Gastronomica, Artlink, Petit Propos Culinaire and Divine. He has presented papers at Symposiums of Australian Gastronomy. Paul manages compost.sydney, a website for new Australian writing on food. Paul has also published an annotated ebook facsimile copy of the Cookbook of Ada dela Harpe. Paul is currently writing a history of food in Australia for Reaktion Books. He is also a long time LGBTIQ activist and historian and has presented papers to annual conferences of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
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