Explores the lasting cultural and political impact of the events of this remarkable year Oscar Wilde's libel suit against the Marquess of Queensberry and its disastrous repercussions dominated British newspapers during the spring of 1895
, but as this innovative study reveals, the Wilde scandal was by no means the only event to capture the public's imagination that year. Freak weather, a flu epidemic, a General Election, industrial unrest, 'sex novels' and New Women, trials of murderers and fraudsters, accidents, anarchists, bombers, balloonists and bicyclists were all topics of interest and alarm. Had Jack the Ripper returned? Did the Prime Minister have a dreadful secret? Were Aubrey Beardsley's drawings corrupting the nation's morals? Were overpaid foreign players corrupting English football? Could cricket save a degenerate nation from moral ruin? Drawing on strikingly diverse primary sources, Nicholas Freeman examines the recurrent preoccupations of a turbulent year, showing how 1890s' Britain is at once far removed from our own day and yet strangely familiar. 'Nicholas Freeman's entertaining and instructive book [focusses] closely on the events of 1895
. He stitches together a rich tapestry of the year's incidents, debates, scandals and diversions...It is a crowded canvas, and a thought-provoking one.'
The Times Literary Supplement
Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Illustrations; Series Editor's Preface; Into the Past: A Brief Foreword; Winter: 15 September 1894 - 28 February 1895; Changes in the Weather; Punching the Pimp; Artificial Flowers and Strange Perfumes; On the Prowl; Death in Kensington; Christmas Lists and Resolutions; Decorative Salaciousness; A Man's Game; First (K)nights; Changes for the Worse; Renewing Hostilities; Women Who Did; Trivial Comedy, Serious People; Spring: 1 March - 30 May 1895; Degenerate Days, Lugubrious Psychologists; The Tooting Tragedy; Freezing Footballs; Blazing Bibles; Irish Affairs; A Wretched Band of Youths; Panic in Vigo Street; Up Against It; A Grand Day Out; Wilde On Trial; Problem Pictures; Jabez and Oscar; Rosebery Returns; Summer: 1 June 1895 - 31 August 1895; Dandy in the Underworld; Elevation and Excoriation; Flaming June; Rosebery Resigns; The Noble Game; A Dreadful Business; En Vacances; Summer Gleanings; Autumn into Winter: 1 September 1895 - 31 December 1895; Revolting Ladies; Welling Up; Silver and Rubies; Trilbymanial; Ave Satani; Far From Dear Father; Exit Jabez; Jude the Obscene; An Epidemic of Indecency; Endings; Bibliography; Index.