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Table of contents
PREFACE
INTRODUCTION-1.1
INTRODUCTION-1.2
INTRODUCTION-1.3
INTRODUCTION-1.4
INTRODUCTION-1.5
INTRODUCTION-1.6
INTRODUCTION-1.7
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2
THE STUDY OF SEXUAL INVERSION
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN MEN-3
HISTORY-1-2-3-4
HISTORY-5
HISTORY-6
HISTORY-7-8
HISTORY-9
HISTORY-10-11-12
HISTORY-13-14
HISTORY-15
HISTORY-16-17-18-19
HISTORY-20
HISTORY-21 (begin)
HISTORY-21 (end)
HISTORY-22-23-24
HISTORY-25
HISTORY-26
HISTORY-27
HISTORY-28-29-30-31-32
HISTORY-33
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-1
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-2
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-3
SEXUAL INVERSION IN WOMEN-4
HISTORY-34-35-36-37
HISTORY-38
HISTORY-39.1
HISTORY-39.2
HISTORY-39.3
HISTORY-39.4
FOOTNOTES
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
THE NATURE OF SEXUAL INVERSION-4
FOOTNOTES
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-1
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-2
THE THEORY OF SEXUAL INVERSION-3
CONCLUSIONS-1
CONCLUSIONS-2
CONCLUSIONS-3
CONCLUSIONS-4
FOOTNOTES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B-1
APPENDIX B-2-3-4
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

At the same period Margaret Clap, commonly called Mother Clap, kept a 

house in Field Lane, Holborn, which was a noted resort of the homosexual. 

To Mother Clap's Molly-house 30 or 40 clients would resort every night; on 

Sunday there might be as many as 50, for, as in Berlin and other cities 

today, that was the great homosexual gala night; there were beds in every 

room in this house. We are told that the "men would sit in one another's 

laps, kissing in a lewd manner and using their hands indecently. Then they 

would get up, dance and make curtsies, and mimic the voices of women, 'Oh, 

fie, sir,'--'Pray, sir,'--'Dear sir,'--'Lord, how can you serve me 

so?'--'I swear I'll cry out,'--'You're a wicked devil,'--'And you're a 

bold face,'--'Eh, ye dear little toad,'--'Come, bus.' They'd hug and play 

and toy and go out by couples into another room, on the same floor, to be 

'married,' as they called it." 

 

On the whole one gains the impression that homosexual practices were more 

prevalent in London in the eighteenth century, bearing in mind its 

population at that time, than they are today.[88] It must not, however, be 

supposed that the law was indulgent and its administration lax. The very 

reverse was the case. The punishment for sodomy, when completely effected, 

was death, and it was frequently inflicted. Homosexual intercourse, 

without evidence of penetration, was regarded as "attempt" and was usually 

punished by the pillory and a heavy fine, followed by two years' 

imprisonment. Moreover, it would appear that more activity was shown by 

the police in prosecution than is nowadays the case; this is, for 

instance, suggested by the evidence of the detective already quoted. 

 

To keep a homosexual resort was also a severely punishable offense. Mother 

Clap was charged at the Old Bailey in 1726 with "keeping a sodomitical 

house"; she protested that she could not herself have taken part in these 

practices, but that availed her nothing; she could bring forward no 

witnesses on her behalf and was condemned to pay a fine, to stand in the 

pillory, and to undergo imprisonment for two years. The cases were dealt 

with in a matter-of-fact way which seems to bear further witness to the 

frequency of the offense, and with no effort to expend any specially 

vindictive harshness on this class of offenders. If there was the 

slightest doubt as to the facts, even though the balance of evidence was 

against the accused, he was usually acquitted, and the man who could bring 

witnesses to his general good character might often thereby escape. In 

1721 a religious young man, married, was convicted of attempting sodomy 

with two young men he slept with; he was fined, placed in the pillory and 

imprisoned for two months. Next year a man was acquitted on a similar 

charge, and another man, of decent aspect, although the evidence indicated 

that he might have been guilty of sodomy, was only convicted of attempt, 

and sentenced to fine, pillory, and two years' imprisonment. In 1723, 

again, a schoolmaster was acquitted, on account of his good reputation, of 

the charge of attempt on a boy of 15, his pupil, though the evidence 

seemed decidedly against him. In 1730 a man was sentenced to death for 

sodomy effected on his young apprentice; this was a bad case and the 

surgeon's evidence indicated laceration of the perineum. Homosexuality of 

all kinds flourished, it will be seen, notwithstanding the fearless yet 

fair application of a very severe law.[89] 

 

In more recent times Byron has frequently been referred to as experiencing 

homosexual affections, and I have been informed that some of his poems 

nominally addressed to women were really inspired by men. It is certain 

that he experienced very strong emotions toward his male friends. "My 

school-friendships," he wrote, "were with me passions." When he afterward 

met one of these friends, Lord Clare, in Italy, he was painfully agitated; 

and could never hear the name without a beating of the heart. At the age 

of 22 he formed one of his strong attachments for a youth to whom he left 

L7000 in his will.[90] It is probable, however, that here, as well as in 

the case of Shakespeare, and in that of Tennyson's love for his youthful 

friend, Arthur Hallam, as well as of Montaigne for Etienne de la Boetie, 


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