Long Ago Life Was Clean, Sex Was Bad and Obscene


Website of the day: Lesley Hall's compendium of myths about Victorian sex, which disputes some stories I've always doubted (e.g., the tale that England did not outlaw lesbian sex because the queen refused to believe the practice existed) and some I'd never heard before (e.g., "The assumption that John Ruskin had a phobia about female pubic hair and that this was the reason for the non-consummation of his marriage to Effie Gray, subsequently annulled"). Many of the myths are of recent vintage, suggesting that the use of the Victorian era as a projection screen is not abating—though just what we're projecting might be changing with time.

Bonus link: Sadly, Hall never weighs in on whether Holmes and Watson were lovers.