Publishing under the pseudonym Michael Field, Katherine Harris Bradley and her niece Edith Emma Cooper published both plays and poetry in 19th century Britain. They published 27 plays, as well as 8 books of poetry which discussed themes of gender roles, family relations, and same sex relationships.
My Secret Life is an anonymous memoir chronicling "Walter's" experiences with sex and sexuality in Victorian England. It is an enormous work, compiling over 4,000 pages and is known for its obsessive fixation with sex and incredibly detailed accounts of one man's sexual encounters throughout his life. Because it was published anonymously, it is difficult to discern how much of the work is fact and how much is fiction, thus making it easy for many perhaps dub My Secret Life as nothing more than possibly the longest erotic novel ever written. However, it's unapologetic descriptions of the hidden aspects of Victorian life such as sex, prostitutes, and fetishes is unparalleled, and gives the reader valuable insight into the side of Victorian life that was often swept under the rug, so to speak.
Amy Levy poem originally sent as a love poem to Violet Paget (a.k.a. Vernon Lee).
In the excerpt from his detailed book On the Curability of Certain Forms of Insanity, Epilepsy, Catalepsy and Hysteria in Females, Isaac Baker Brown provides "evidence" that explains why his cliterechtomy procedures in the mid-1800s were advantageous. He describes female masturbation and clitoral stimulation as "abnormal excitement" and he seems to be rather threatened by the notion that Victorian women are potentially "plagued" by sexual desire. The coded language regarding masturbation displays Brown's discomfort with the whole ordeal and the introductory chapter provides insight into his attempts at rationalizing his method of treatment. His misogynistic perception of women shines through when he states that he cannot possibly discuss the "numerous varieties of insanity and other nervous disorders to which females are liable," yet he seems frightened that this "abnormal irritation of a nerve centre" could lead to the sexual downfall of men (Brown, 2).
Anges Mary Frances Robinson expresses her admiration of a woman through the process of plants growing tall and beautiful in the Spring.
Agnes Mary Frances Robinson's poem describes her attempting to woo a female lover with flowers. However, a man swoops in and gives her better flowers instead.
Agnes Mary Francis Robinson published this poem in An Italian Garden: a Book of Songs in 1886. The poem describes a lost love, between two women, and how the author hopes that her love will remember her after she dies.
Agnes Mary Frances Robinson published this sonnet within a book of sonnets written while she was in a relationship with Vernon Lee (Violet Piaget). In the poem she describes keeping her distance from her lover in order to keep their relationship a secret.
After Salomé was published in 1893 The Pall Mall Budget asked Aubrey Beardsley to create a series of illustrations in response to the play. Most of the illustrations (sixteen in all) were censored and had to be redrawn, the original versions not allowed to be published until the 1907 edition of Oscar Wilde's play. The illustrations featured here are: 2. Title Page, 14. The Dancer's Reward, 15. The Climax.
Lord Alfred Douglas is addressing the wait for day to end so that he can see his lover, who is a man. He can only be with this man at night because they have to hide their love from the rest of society due to the fact that homosexuality was illegal.