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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Suspects » Stephenson, Roslyn Donston » Sexual influences in Victorian London « Previous Next »

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Brian W. Schoeneman
Inspector
Username: Deltaxi65

Post Number: 255
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 2:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All,

I was wondering if any of you Victorian history buffs had any knowledge or information on sexual practices in London during the Victorian era.

If the ideas surrounding Jack being a sexually motivated killer are legit, then he must have had something to spark his fantasies - today they use S&M porn. What did they use back then?

Were there Marquis de Sade type clubs or organizations in London at the time? How easily was pornography available? Anything I should read to get up to speed on this?

Thanks in advance, all.

B
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Stephen P. Ryder
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2721
Registered: 10-1997
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 2:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian -

Try The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality by Ronald Pearsall. Not a recent book, but its still generally considered a "must-have" for general Victorian scholarship.
Stephen P. Ryder, Editor
Casebook: Jack the Ripper
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John Hacker
Sergeant
Username: Jhacker

Post Number: 17
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 3:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

According to Amazon.com it's coming back into print in Oct 2003. They're taking preorders for it for $11.19 plus shipping.
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AP Wolf
Inspector
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 242
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Stephen
an excellent recommendation, I cut my teeth on the book.
One should pay particular attention to the case of Jane Shore, it rewards careful thought.
It would also reward anyone with a particular interest in 'sex crime' to study the extensive 'Hite Reports' by Shere Hite as they do examine the history of our sexuality and I wouldn't like to think that anyone was posting here without the authority and knowledge of her important works to back them up.
That's if they think Jack was a sexual serial killer.
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bluebird
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 4:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hello there,

maybe this is also of interest:

http://de.geocities.com/history_guide/horb/horb-c09.html

gruss
thomas.
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John Ruffels
Sergeant
Username: Johnr

Post Number: 47
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 6:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hellooo,

I also recommend Cyril Pearl's GIRL ON THE SWANSDOWN SEAT; and books on THE CLEVELAND STREET SCANDAL.
Pearl's book deals with middle class brothels and the "White Slave Trade" and for the scandal ,one author is H.Montgomery Hyde. This deals with an
1885 sensational raid on an upper class male brothel not too far from a certain artist's studio...
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Scott Medine
Detective Sergeant
Username: Sem

Post Number: 99
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian,
While conducting research for the book, I contacted Dr. Neil Schaeffer PhD., a Professor of English at Brooklyn College. He has wrote at least one book on De Sade's writings from prison and is considered an expert on the Marquis. He told me that even though De Sade's writings were banned in pretty much every country in Victorian Europe, they could still be obtained on the black market. In France, they were relatively expensive and could only be afforded by people with money, however; in England and Eastern Europe, notably Prussia, copies could be obtained quite eaisly and in fact the Prussian Army had to crack down on the enlisted ranks as the Marquis' writings were quite popular. He further stated that in England, during our time period of interest, the writings could be obtained fairly cheaply and eaisly.

He also stated that the writings frequently entered a country through its ports by sailors. Even though most Eastern Countries do not have major ports, the Eastern Eurpoean Countries, because of their different lifetstyle, were a little more accepting of De Sade's writings.

Peace,
Scott
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Faye
Police Constable
Username: Faye

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 7:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would like to recommand the book "City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920" by Timothy J. Gilfoyle .

Eventhough it focuses on New York, it does give an interesting picture of prostitution and sex in victorian times.
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John McMahon
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Check out 'My Secret Life', published anonymously
at about the time of the ripper murders. The allegedly true diary entries of one Henry Spencer Ashby, a Victorian silk merchant, porno collector supreme, and friend to most of Europe's pornographers. The diary is explicit, unapologetic, obsessive, as unPC as you can get, and also quite good as literary porn.

John
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John Ruffels
Sergeant
Username: Johnr

Post Number: 48
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 6:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some little time ago, Chris Phillips enquired about Macnaghten's meaning when he described Montague Druitt and the other two as "sexually insane".
He received some assistance, but if Brian or someone discovers a clear Victorian-era discussion of this term I too would be most interested to learn what it meant back then.
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R.J. Palmer
Detective Sergeant
Username: Rjpalmer

Post Number: 58
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 9:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pornography was for the elite. A single French postcard bought in the Strand would have cost over two week's wages for a working bloke from Spitalfields or Whitechapel.
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Christopher T George
Detective Sergeant
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 148
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, John:

I am not sure that Victorians except for Macnaghten used the term "sexually insane" although I believe most modern commentators believe Macnaghten merely meant homosexuality. Interestingly, a modern writer on sex has written, "American culture at the end of the millennium is close to sexually insane. At a minimum, it is sexually profligate, confused, and unable to draw wise ethical boundaries around sexual practices or to stay within those boundaries." See "Cybersex: Eroticism Without Bodies" By Doug Groothuis. So it would seem that the term "sexually insane" may be being used even more broadly than Macnaghten meant it. Thank God Monty Druitt did not have access to the Internet!

It looks as if religious commentators particularly may be using the term "sexually insane" to characterize the sexual obsession of society today even if psychologists do not, as in the following passages:

When the sensuality of our time would hammer into our brains that we must be experiencing sexual pleasures right now, that we are only a person of worth to the extent that we are sexually attractive and active, meditation on the Scripture will teach us that we are more, much more, than the sum of our body parts. Knowing this will enable to maintain sexual sanity in a sexually insane society. Quote from THE DISCIPLINES OF MEDITATION

and Sensation is seeking satisfaction through the appetites. By listening to this serpent of sense, man becomes sexually insane, a glutton and a drunkard. Quote from Charles Fillmore, Twelve Powers of Man, Chapter 13

In popular culture, a review of an Argentinian film, "Fuego" (1968, 81 min.), newly released on DVD starring Isabel Sarli includes the statement, "Argentina's greatest cinema sex symbol stars as Laura, a nymphomaniac who may very well be sexually insane." This sounds as if it might be useful homework project for Eduardo Zinna to check out this flick for us. laugh

All the best

Chris George
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Caroline Anne Morris
Detective Sergeant
Username: Caz

Post Number: 90
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never thought of it much before, but I suppose the secret information on Druitt that caused the 'sexually insane' comment may have been no more than a stash of Victorian porn. I could never really see the link between finding Monty cuddling a chap, and suspecting him of gutting Chapman.

Love,

Caz
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Monty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Monty

Post Number: 66
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz,

Sssssh, I thought our little rendez vous's were simply secret...now you've let the cat outta the bag....and I have an alibi for Chapman...I was born yet !

Victorian porn ?? Candid photography ?? your wifes from Purley ??

I suspect Druitt had a little stash of photos...not unlike ex popstars of today !!

Monty
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Christopher T George
Detective Sergeant
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 149
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Caz and Monty:

Monty, I hope you were born, I never suspected otherwise, errrrr, that perhaps you were just a cyber apparition or, ahem, seeing as you're from Leicester another Elephant Man?!!!

To my mind, the term "sexually insane" does not imply pornography but rather behavior, and of course we might bear in mind that the Victorians and Edwardians bandied around wrathful religiously derived terms to castigate practices that they did not condone, and homosexuality and masturbation were two such practices that today would not be so criticized.

Caz, save a dance for me at the disco at the Britannia Adelphi.

Best regards

Chris
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Christopher T George
Inspector
Username: Chrisg

Post Number: 151
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 1:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, all:

A contact who is well read in Ripper literature kindly pointed out to me that in his memoirs Macnaghten defines what he meant when he described Montague John Druitt as "sexually insane."

In his 1914 autobiography, Days of My Years, Macnaghten describes the Ripper as "a sexual maniac" and defines what he meant or he alludes to his intention of doing so later in the book.

On page 100, at the start of a chapter titled "Motiveless Murder," Macnaghten wrote that the two most remarkable examples of recent years were the Lambeth Poisoning Case in 1892 and the Camden Town Murder in 1907 [curiously both now having Ripper connotations] and he says that "Both of these murders were committed by sexual maniacs, - by men who killed for the joy of killing, - but their types were wholly different. As I have said before, when writing of the Whitechapel murders, such madness takes Protean forms. Very few people, except barristers, doctors and police officers, realise that such a thing as sexual mania exists, and in a murder case similar to the two mentioned above, it is a most difficult task for prosecuting counsel to make a jury fully understand that it supplies and accounts for the complete absence of any other motive for the crime."

What Sir Melville Macnaghten apparently meant therefore is that such a person killed for the pleasure he derived from killing, and that killing was in itself and of itself the motive.

Best regards

Chris

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Caroline Anne Morris
Detective Sergeant
Username: Caz

Post Number: 95
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 4:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

I will. But I think I pulled a muscle dancing 'til 2am last Friday - right now it feels like I've cracked a rib or two and it's absolute agony. It may have had something to do with this huge six foot guy who insisted on lifting me high into the air and swinging me round (why do strange men always do that to me??).

So if I can get a few massages in before August, I should be back to normal for Liverpool.

...it is a most difficult task for prosecuting counsel to make a jury fully understand that it supplies and accounts for the complete absence of any other motive for the crime.

And that was written in the supposed dark ages!

Many more people realise sexual mania exists today, but perhaps the Boss should come back to life and enlighten some of the jury members who post here.

I'm not sure though, what behaviour Monty was supposed to have been found indulging in, if it took an apparently motiveless murder to indicate a sex maniac at work. How would one be recognised by his behaviour while not killing for pleasure? I still think he may have had a secret collection of photos, naughty parchments (anyone remember the Elizabethan Blackadder?) or literature which suggested a penchant for relief by violent acts. These days, it is still assumed that such collections indicate a nutter who is willing and able to turn his wildest fantasies into reality. These days, it doesn't take too much more to make a case against someone and put them away for a murder they may or may not have actually committed.

If Monty was between this devil and the deep grey Thames he chose the latter.

(Sorry, Monty old chap, it's getting worse and worse for you!)

Love,

Caz
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Monty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Monty

Post Number: 73
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 12:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would like to point out that Mrs Morris is refering to Mr Montague Druitt when she is typing 'Monty' and not the great and good Monty who graces these boards after midnight.

I have no mania of any kind.

Thank you

Monty
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
Detective Sergeant
Username: Picapica

Post Number: 66
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 3:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well Caz,

I think it serves you right. Dancing until 2am! With strange men!! You'll be impersonating fire engines next.

Cheers, disapproving Mark
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Caroline Anne Morris
Detective Sergeant
Username: Caz

Post Number: 106
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 5:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Monty,

Hardly the fault of Mrs Morris if the great and good Monty chooses to name himself after a murder suspect

and if in consequence visitors to the boards think you are a crazy cricketer. 'Appy days, eh?

Hi Mark,

God, it does sound bad, doesn't it? I've gone red already.

Now all I need is a ladder in my stocking and someone to give me a bell and I'll be putting out fires in no time. (Can you tell my back's a whole lot better?)

Love,

Caz
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Monty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Monty

Post Number: 78
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz,

To be honest you're not far off the mark...I do play cricket.....but thats all...oh, apart from the naughty parchments...but dont we all eh ??

Gis a faaaaaag !!

Monty
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Caroline Anne Morris
Detective Sergeant
Username: Caz

Post Number: 108
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 3:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't you start, Monty.

May I make it absolutely clear that Mrs Morris is nowhere near Mark.

Nor does she own any naughty parchments.

(Reader's voice: I know, she just borrows other people's - tut)

Love,

Honest Caz

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Monty
Detective Sergeant
Username: Monty

Post Number: 83
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Caz,



Monty
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
Detective Sergeant
Username: Picapica

Post Number: 69
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 6:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah well, I can only hope.

Cheers, disappointed Mark
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asha
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, December 07, 2003 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Re Druitt and the 'sexually insane' comment. Perhapse it was his suspension from the all boys school that had something to do with it? It was rumoured that he had 'relations' with one of his young male pupils and thats why he committed suicide. Even in Victorian times those kind of terrible crimes against children would have made upstanding citizens like macnaughtan automatically label Druitt as 'sexually insane.' I suppose that might include homosexuality too, although from what ive read it seemed to be very prevalent in all classes and probably not as shocking to them as we would like to think. There seems to be many accounts of men being arrested for 'unnatural acts' including a certain American Doctor and i have not read about them or others being labelled 'sexually insane.' (though i might be wrong on this.) Another idea might be nymphomania but this seems to be directed at the female of the species who wasnt supposed to enjoy sex. That leaves us with the abuse of young boys which i suspect Druitt was guilty of, but that dosent make him the Ripper.
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Monty
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Monty

Post Number: 1228
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Quick question folks,

I cannot find the answer above which means Ive missed it or there isnt an answer up there.

Anyway heres the question (which would be handy wouldnt it ?)

How easy would it be to obtain Victorian porn if you were a regular working (or unemployed) class Joe (or Aaron) ??

Would it have been a luxury item ??

Cheers,

Monty
:-)
Prince Charming, Prince Charming,
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Inspector
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 439
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 3:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Monty!
What a question!
i don't know the answer but refer you to RJ's post number 58 above dated 21 May which is the best I can do.
I would not suggest putting it into google!

Jenni

Ps MAybe there is a book that will help.. There is one called something about the victorian underworld (i think there is a copy in Leicester libraries) but not sure if it will have anything in it??


Uncle Bulgaria,He can remember the days when he wasn't behind The Times.....
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 2653
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 6:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Monty

This item mentions a price.

"THE TIMES" Aug 25th 1887

prints

Robert
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Jim DiPalma
Detective Sergeant
Username: Jimd

Post Number: 84
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi All,

Monty, some years back I read a book titled "The Victorian Underworld" that described all manner of illegal activities, and even touched on social conditions for the working classes. I don't recall the author, perhaps it was the same work Jennifer was referring to?

In any event, there was a section on Victorian porn. As I recall, it was typically printed on playing cards, postcards and the like, and could be had for a few pence. So, readily available to the average working Joe (or Aaron - I think I see where you're going with this).

As to whether or not it was considered a luxury item, well mate, one man's luxury is another man's necessity.

Jim
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Inspector
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 445
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 2:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Monty, Jim and Robert,

Yes that probably was the book I was thinking of.
I am sure i have had such a book from the leicester city library,
umm...there are two books with such a title on the cat. The dewy number is the same for both that is to say 364.9410 of which one is by Donald Thomas - a copy at central now,
the other is by Kellow Chesney, this being the one i have read i think due.

Jenni



Uncle Bulgaria,He can remember the days when he wasn't behind The Times.....
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Robert Charles Linford
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Robert

Post Number: 2656
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jenni

I've disinterred my copy of Chesney's book and I don't see that it has much about pornography in it, although there is a chapter on prostitution. So maybe the porn info is in the Thomas book.

Robert
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Mark Andrew Pardoe
Inspector
Username: Picapica

Post Number: 249
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 6:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whatho Robert,

I'm glad to see the good policeman managed to get 6d knocked off the price.

Cheers, Mark (who's got some nice pictures, hur hur hur)
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Monty
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Monty

Post Number: 1230
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 6:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Guys,

Many thanks for the pointers.

Monty
:-)
Prince Charming, Prince Charming,
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
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Jennifer D. Pegg
Inspector
Username: Jdpegg

Post Number: 446
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 7:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Monty
no problem.

Robert,
thanks for that. It would have been the prostitution element i was interested in.

Jenni
Uncle Bulgaria,He can remember the days when he wasn't behind The Times.....
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d g cornelius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 6:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Other Monty et al:

Here are two fairly well-known studies of the subject:

The bourgeois experience : Victoria to Freud / Peter Gay. New York : Oxford University Press, 1984-c1998.

The other Victorians : a study of sexuality and pornography in mid-nineteenth-century England / by Steven Marcus ; with a new introd. by the author. New York : Basic Books, [1975] c1966.

I can assure you that I of course have no interest in such matters and that I am merely retrieving general cultural knowledge.

Respex,
d g cornelius



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AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 1942
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 4:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just playing catch-up.
For anyone interested in the full story of the very public rape and beating of Jane Shore then please see The Times of May 18th & June 8th 1871.
The comments of the court are pertinent.

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