City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London
Virago Press Ltd
Judith R. Walkowitz
Late-Victorian London, city of dreadful delight with the new pleasures of the music hall, West End shopping, and the mingling of high and low life where women of every class challenged the traditional privileges of a male elite. It was a city also of sexual repression and the policing of women, of sexual scandal and danger. In this brilliantly illuminating study, Walkowitz shows how these narratives played out complex dramas of power, politics and sexuality, and how they influenced the writing of journalism and fiction and the language of politics. The author persuasively argues that women were not simply figures in the imaginary landscape of male spectators, but also central actors in the stories of metropolitan life that reverberated in courtrooms, learned journals, drawing rooms, street corners and in the letters' columns of the daily press.