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sixtieschick Books: What have people been reading recently? (419* d) RE: BS: Books 13 Apr 05

Guest. Allen: "Gross Indecency" was the milder of two criminal offences involving homosexuality. Queen Victoria introduced it as a lesser, more compassionate crime, incurring two years at hard labor for those convicted. (Only men were arrested for it, the belief being that women never comitted such acts.) The crime of sodomy, still in place at the time Wilde was accused, carried the death penalty.

I agree with you that Wilde was talking about the danger of losing one's soul to sensuality, but he seemed to me to be deeply ambivalent about the world of the senses; part of his own inner struggle, perhaps.


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