The Sexual History of London by Catharine Arnold
From Roman Londinium to the Swinging City---Lust, Vice, and Desire Across the Ages

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Synopsis

If Paris is the city of love, then London is the city of lust. From the bath houses of Roman Londinium to the sexual underground of the twentieth century and beyond, this is an entertaining, vibrant chronicle of London and sex through the ages.

For more than a thousand years, England’s capital has been associated with desire, avarice, and the sins of the flesh. Richard of Devises, a monk writing in 1180, warned that “every quarter abounds in great obscenities.” As early as the second century AD, London was notorious for its raucous festivities and disorderly houses, and throughout the centuries the bawdy side of life has taken easy root and flourished.

In The Sexual History of London, award-winning popular historian Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to London’s relationship with vice through the ages. London has always traded in the currency of sex. Whether pornographic publishers on Fleet Street, or courtesans parading in Haymarket, its streets have long been witness to colorful sexual behavior. In an accessible, entertaining style, Arnold takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day. Here are buxom strumpets, louche aristocrats, popinjay politicians, and Victorian flagellants—all vying for their place in London’s league of licentiousness.

            From sexual exuberance to moral panic, the city has seen the pendulum swing from Puritanism to hedonism and back again. With latter chapters looking at Victorian London and the sexual underground of the twentieth century and beyond, this is a fascinating and vibrant chronicle of London at its most raw and ribald.

 

About Catharine Arnold

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Catharine Arnold read English at Cambridge and holds a further degree in psychology. A journalist, academic and popular historian, Catharine's previous books include the novel "Lost Time", winner of a Betty Trask award, and "Necropolis: London and Its Dead", the first of her projected London trilogy.
 
Published December 6, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 384 pages
Genres: History, Self Help, Travel, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Sexual History of London

Publishers Weekly

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A London social historian (Necropolis) certainly knows her city and displays her knowledge with verve and savvy in this substantial and engaging work. Arnold reaches over an enormous swath of time, es

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Sexual History of London:...

New York Journal of Books

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Arnold’s previous studies of London include Necropolis: London and Its Dead and Bedlam: London and Its Mad.

Dec 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Sexual History of London:...

New York Journal of Books

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“Ms. Arnold’s magnificent chronicle of sex throughout the ages not only helps us to understand the history that shaped the capitol’s current desires, fetishes, kinks, and peccadilloes, it also allows us to return to the city, book in hand, to excavate London’s deep sexual terrain.”

Dec 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Sexual History of London:...

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