Victorian London’s Hidden Porn Trade

Betwixt The Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal & Society

Holywell Street, just off London’s Fleet Street, was the hidden epicentre of Victorian pornography.

The Daily Telegraph described it as “the vilest street in the civilised world,” so naturally, we wanted to know all of the smutty details.

Joining Kate to take us into this hidden world is Dr. Matthew Green, author of Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain.

What does this tell us about Victorian society as a whole? What went on upstairs in these shady bookshops? And what were some of the most popular titles of the period? Let’s go Betwixt the Sheets to find out.

This episode was edited by Siobhan Dale and producer by Stuart Beckwith. The senior producer was Charlotte Long.

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