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July 1, 2016

The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade


If, when it comes to the pleasures of the flesh, we are accustomed to think of the Victorians as a prudish and repressed breed, a trip down Holywell Street in the late nineteenth century would be an eye-opening experience.
It was unusual in appearance. There were crooked timber-framed houses with gables lurching over the street, blocking out the light, as though caught in a time-warp from medieval London. In some senses this gave it an antique, picture-postcard charm. But many of the old wooden-fronted, deep-bayed buildings were grimy and semi-dilapidated – sleazy, even. Books abounded, stuffed into sooty shop-windows, spilling onto trestle tables on the pavement, and being forever unloaded from horse-drawn carts. Above one second-hand book shop, at number 37, was a golden crescent moon with pouting lips, thick eyebrows, a fine nose, and sad, sulky eyes – reportedly the oldest shop sign in London, one that features prominently in contemporary paintings. | The Public Domain Review

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 1, 2016 5:44 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

"Lance, come hither."

[Can't a man have a beer in peace?]

"What did you say?"

"I said, 'Does a banana have a fear of geese.'"

"That's among the stupidest things you've said."

"Well, someone has to ask these tough questions."
["I do," was, in fact, the stupidest thing I've said.]

"I've decided to ride you around the house. Like in Victorian porn. You could be my horsie. It would get my hamster all excited."

"Not likely [Clydesdale]. I'll ride YOU around the bed and we'll just let the aforementioned hamster take care of itself. I hear that Bill Clinton rides Hillary all the time. Of course, what with those heinous cankles, those receding gums, the relentless coughing, the spackled face-cracks, the eyes from outer space, the heavy duty pants suit, and that bloated girth, I imagine it's a nauseating ride... Back in the saddle again. Out where a friend is a friend. Where the..."

"Just what are you singing?"

"Gene Autry. Or maybe Gabby Hayes."

Posted by: Lance de Boyle [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 2, 2016 3:51 PM

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