Under the scrutiny of the British legal system, no work was safe from being deemed obscene.
My grandparents helped pave the way for virtual trysts.
Katie Hindmarch-Watson In the summer of 1889 a 15-year-old London telegraph boy named Charles Swinscow had a monumental encounter with his inspector. Charles had eighteen shillings in his pockets, more than twice his weekly salary. Postal Constable Luke Hanks, after discovering this suspicious amount, extracted a statement from Charles that […]
Carrie Hamilton In late 1960, not quite two years after the revolutionary victory of 1959, two young Cuban filmmakers, Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal, set out with a handheld camera, a small recording device and a limited supply of film to record shots of Havana nightlife. The result was P.M., […]
Justin Bengry In June 1967, opposition Conservative UK parliamentarians encountered a new and threatening queer danger. They feared that the Sexual Offences Bill then before them — a measure that would partially decriminalize male homosexual acts — might appear to sanction, and even promote, homosexual activity. Conservative MP Sir Cyril Osborne therefore proposed an amendment […]
Gillian Frank Jen Baker’s recent blog post provides an excellent overview of the “stranger danger” films that were widely produced and disseminated in the postwar United States and England. Her analysis rightly concludes that such films encouraged “society to normalise the family as a haven from danger” and to ignore how “often the […]
Jennifer Grove A letter dated 2nd October 1936, headed with the logo of The Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan and the large underlined word ‘URGENT’, reads “I have bought the special things at sex store…” [original underlining]. The letter is from Montague Henry Knapp, a retired naval captain and collector, to […]