Shelf Control is a weekly instalment created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. I love the idea of looking at my own bookshelf and getting excited to read what I already own. Here the little introduction from Bookshelf Fantasies:
Instead of always looking ahead to upcoming new releases, I thought I’d start a weekly feature focusing on already released books that I want to read. Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, books that are either on my shelves or on my Kindle!You can find the original post here.
Title: Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England
Author: Neil McKenna
Length: 416 pages
What it’s about (from Goodreads):
28th April 1870. The flamboyantly dressed Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton are causing a stir in the Strand Theatre. All eyes are riveted upon their lascivious oglings of the gentlemen in the stalls. Moments later they are led away by the police.
What followed was a scandal that shocked and titillated Victorian England in equal measure. It turned out that the alluring Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton were no ordinary young women. Far from it. In fact, they were young men who liked to dress as women.
When the Metropolitan Police launched a secret campaign to bring about their downfall, they were arrested and subjected to a sensational show trial in Westminster Hall. As the trial of ‘the Young Men in Women’s Clothes’ unfolded, Fanny and Stella’s extraordinary lives as wives and daughters, actresses and whores were revealed to an incredulous public.
With a cast of peers, politicians and prostitutes, drag queens, doctors and detectives, “Fanny and Stella” is a Victorian peepshow, exposing the startling underbelly of nineteenth-century London. By turns tragic and comic, meticulously researched and dazzlingly written, “Fanny and Stella” is an enthralling tour-de-force.
How and when I got it:
This is a proof version that I bought from Oxfam some time last year.
Why I want to read it:
I love history told through the lens of minorities, and I think it’s always important to pay tribute to people who tried hard to live their lives as they wanted despite the hostile reactions that they received from society.