Fall 1966 • Vol. XXVIII No. 5 Book ReviewsNovember 1, 1966 |

The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England

THE OTHER VICTORIANS: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England by Steven Marcus. Basic Books, $5.95.   The humanists strike back at Masters' and Johnson's study of sexuality. Mr. Marcus has fathered upon Kinsey's Institute for Sex Research a scholarly volume on the kind of literature our forebears were really reading hidden between the pages of Cornhill Magazine. Beginning with a chapter on the society's official views of sexuality, represented by the writings of the physician William Acton, we are taken through Henry Spencer Ashbee's Index Librorutm Prohibitorum, the eleven-volume My Secret Life, the literature of flagellation, and several pornographic novels of the period. On such subjects, the author explains, there has been "almost total absence of any kind of serious or reliable previous work." Mr. Marcus' writing is certainly of a high seriousness—passages of the most raucous comedy are quoted and analyzed with studious earnestness and n

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Wild about Harry

By Louis D. Rubin

THE OTHER VICTORIANS: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England by Steven Marcus. Basic Books, $5.95.   The humanists strike back at Masters' and Johnson's study of sexuality. […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.