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Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England

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9780571231904: Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England
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Fanny and Stella 28th April 1870. The flamboyantly dressed Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton are causing a stir in the Strand Theatre. All eyes are riveted upon their lascivious oglings of the gentlemen in the stalls. Moments later they are led away by the police. What followed was a scandal that shocked and titillated Victorian England in equal measure. Full description

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Review:

Rich and absorbing ... McKenna has done a tremendous job of recreating Victorian London's gay subculture, weaving newspaper reports, police documents and contemporary diaries into a jolly rollicking narrative. It would be an understatement to call it a colourful book ... Fanny and Stella is a cracking read. Source: Sunday Times

Uproarious ... McKenna relates their astonishing story with meticulously researched relish ... McKenna captures their arrest with the same joie de vivre as Stella and Fanny lived their tumultuous lives: a blur of petticoats, shrieks and confusion ... It's a wonderful, gripping and moving story, including a pithy epilogue revealing what happened next to the major players. Tim Burton or Baz Luhrmann must make this into a film. Source: The Times

Very seductive. McKenna is rightly confident of the appeal of his funny, dramatic and secretly quite significant story. Source: Financial Times

McKenna does an excellent job of dusting [Fanny and Stella] down for the 21st century, testing the limits of his documentary source material and showing what happens when the biographer allows himself the licence to go inside his subject's head.
His writing has much of the performative element that characterised Stella and Fanny's appearances on the streets of London and in provincial halls. Showy as a feather boa, McKenna's text takes pleasure in its own silly excess ... Purists and puritans may balk at the book, both its tone and its way of proceeding. But everyone else will have a ball.

Author: Kathryn Hughes Source: Guardian

Gripping and novelistic history ... McKenna has unearthed plentiful evidence. Source: Sunday Telegraph

[An] often jaw-dropping tale... Faced with such terrific material, McKenna could easily have told the story straight (as it were). In the event, he puts in a performance easily as theatrical as his heroines in their pomp. While the basic research can't be faulted, he also gives us the inner thoughts of everybody concerned ... A largely irresistible story, complete with a big courtroom finish that I won't spoil. Source: Daily Mail

Both a fun and well-researched history. Source: BBC History Magazine

You would need to be a very dull - or prim - dog indeed not to find this a terrifically entertaining story. Neil McKenna has thrown himself into it with unfettered glee. If the opportunity arises to describe an anal fistula - and it does, frequently - he does not shirk it. [McKenna is] a sufficiently crisp, colourful and funny writer. Source: Evening Standard

A Fascinating slice of social history ... McKenna conjures the grubby glamour and camp excesses of Fanny and Stella's lives. He has a lot of fun with his subject while remaining sypathetic to those involved. Source: Metro

Wonderful ... This is a great read. It will be made into a movie as sure as Neil McKenna is the greatest gay biographer of our era. Source: QX Magazine

Book Description:

Fanny and Stella, by Neil McKenna, is the gripping story of the trial that shook Victorian England - a tale of cross-dressing, cross-examinations and the invention of camp.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780571231911: Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England

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ISBN 10: 0571231918 ISBN 13: 9780571231911
Publisher: Faber & Faber, 2014
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9780571302444: Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England

Faber ..., 2013
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