Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fanny and Stella

In 1870, two bedraggled young women were hauled before Bow Street Magistrates Court, charged with "the abominable crime of buggery". After a night in the cells, with wigs slipping and stubble poking through, it was clear to the packed and excited courtroom that the two tarts were actually young men. Their names, according to the charge sheet, were Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park (no realtion to me, that I know of). To their friends they were Stella and Fanny. And in the newspapers, where they now became front-page fixtures, they were known as the He-She Ladies.

Neil McKenna, who wrote The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, one of 2003's unexpected publishing successes apparently, has written an account of their trial and lives that 'takes pleasure in its own silly excess'. It's reviewed here:

See our post about Fanny and Stella from 5 February 2012:

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