Fascinating excerpts from newspapers, journals, diaries, and letters show that although prostitution was widespread in Victorian Britain, it was not altogether considerd amoral.
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Trevor Fisher is Lecturer in History of Newcastle College.From Library Journal:
In the 1830s, highly exaggerated statistics concerning the number of prostitutes plying their trade in London forced a reluctant Victorian government to acknowledge the situation. When surveys revealed a dramatic increase in venereal disease among members of the military, Parliament passed a series of Contagious Disease Acts in an attempt to regulate the trade and enforce periodic inspections of prostitutes. Both feminists, who saw a double standard regarding the women and their clients, and puritans, who deemed any regulation as a step to the legalization of immoral behavior, were outraged. The acts were repealed, but the debate would continue into the 20th century. Fisher (history, Newcastle Coll., England) uses a wide range of original sources to document the shifting positions in the debate but offers little analysis, though she has a nice feel for the period. Her work may be recommended for academic and public libraries where there is an interest in English history.?Rose M. Cichy, Osterhout Free Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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