Sex in Victorian Literature

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The Victorians were not only caricatured as prudes by the modernists who followed them, but were known as prudish amongst their European contemporaries – for all their technological and political modernity. This has implications for how we should read Victorian literature. A society in which a flash of a lady’s instep was risqué and arousing demands that readers be similarly alert to discreet allusions to sex in its literature. This literature then turns out to be not quite so sex-free as one would otherwise think…



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