- Title: The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality
- Author: Ronald Pearsall
- ISBN: 9780750933353
- Page: 272
- Format: Paperback
This classic book on Victorian hypocrisy reveals the other side of Victoria s Britain, and what really went on behind the lace curtains and aspidistras Ronald Pearsall exposes, with thorough documentation, the bald facts of sex life approved and illicit among the aristocracy, the middle class and poor in the nineteenth century His curious record is honest, entertainingThis classic book on Victorian hypocrisy reveals the other side of Victoria s Britain, and what really went on behind the lace curtains and aspidistras Ronald Pearsall exposes, with thorough documentation, the bald facts of sex life approved and illicit among the aristocracy, the middle class and poor in the nineteenth century His curious record is honest, entertaining, and very humorous It also reflects the conflicting values of the Victorian double standard one is the very image of respectability, the other is an underground world in which repressions sought their outlet in depravity and licentiousness In this book Ronald Pearsall introduces the reader to Ruskin and his unconsummated marriage, Swinburne and his predilection for flagellation, the cult of the corset, the flourishing trade in pornography and obscene photographs and orgies that took place under cover at sedate country houses.
Recent Comments "The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality"
With an ironic sense of humor, compassion and a great deal of understanding, Pearsall covers every aspect of Victorian sexuality from the thought-to-be perverse homosexuality to the actually perverse child prostitution, from the medical to the literary. His chapter on pornography and just how dreadfully written or drawn some of it was is very, very funny. It did not drag as some very long books do (it is over 600 pages).
This is a rag bag of a book, clearly designed for dipping into at intervals rather than reading from cover to cover. (The repetition of anecdotes proves it.) Since it is organized by theme rather than chronologically it is hard to find any one thing, and since it was written so many years ago it is kind of dated. And it bogs down a lot -- a lot of fairly marginal and eminently skippable material. I am sure there are better books that cover the same material.
written in the 1960's by a male, so the tone is VERY condescending. lots of interesting information, though by about three-fourths of the way through, it seemed like he was reaching for ideas to write about. on the whole, pretty good though.
There are a lot of interesting tidbits in this book, but it's wordy and if it had been written in a more concise manner than it'd be half the length. A lot of names were thrown at the reader, often without date or context, as if the reader should already know who they are.
There are certain places where the author shares some alarming views. His section on ‘Predatory Women’ includes an “example” that is preluded by the ominous statement: “it was possible to start scheming at an even earlier age…” One thinks some scandalous story will soon follow, and it does, but not for the reasons you are first led to expect: a man of 23 writes about the hopes and dreams he has pinned on AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL – he hopes to marry her, and speaks of her in really [...]
A lot of food for thought, and some really interesting points, but some chapters are very dull. Pearsall also tends to jump the gun with conclusions, and lacks citations. Overall, I found that the most interesting parts of the book were the many that cited victorian artists and their erotic works, so that I could look up a visual reference to lend credence to his example.
An interesting book.
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