For immediate release
LANDMARK 1955 BOOK ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY RETURNS TO BESTSELLER LIST
(Victoria, BC – 10 September 2007) An out-of-print book that played a key role in the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK is once again a bestseller – 52 years after it was originally published.
Against The Law by Peter Wildeblood has appeared on AbeBooks.co.uk’s list of top 10 bestselling books in July and August. AbeBooks is an online marketplace that specializes in secondhand, rare and out-of-print books.
A journalist for the Daily Mail newspaper until he was embroiled in a national scandal, Wildeblood’s book is an account of his arrest for indecent acts, trial, imprisonment and release after 12 months in prison. During the infamous trial in 1954, Wildeblood became one of the first men in Britain to publicly declare his homosexuality.
The landmark book, published in 1955, argues that homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be illegal and explains that imprisonment actually encourages homosexuality. It was the first book to explain what it meant to be a homosexual to a mass audience of Britons.
Against The Law became a focal point in the campaign to legalize homosexuality in the UK. In 1957, the Wolfenden Report recommended decriminalization and 10 years later the Sexual Offenses Act legalized same-sex relations in private.
Although he remained a campaigner for gay rights, Wildeblood’s career took a new direction after his imprisonment. He went on to own a Soho drinking club, which provided material for his second book, A Way of Life. He also wrote a novel called West End People, which became a musical. In 1969, he became a producer with Granada Television but moving to Canada in the 1970s where he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto. He retired to Victoria on Vancouver Island and died in 1999 at 74 years old. Against The Law was last published in 1999 with a new preface by former politician Matthew Parris.
AbeBooks.co.uk’s bestselling books in August
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