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Sins of the Cities of the Plain

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Written 12 years before Teleny by Saul and a likely ghostwriter, this account of Victorian cross-dressing and rent-boys is a legend all its own. The work draws on the author's own experiences with an all-male brothel in Cleveland Street (later shut down scandalously.) Originally subtitled: or, The Recollections of a Mary-Anne.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Olympia Press (first published 1881)
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I don't know quite how to rate this book or if there was a point in my trying seeing as I did read it for school. And, more to the point, because it is Victorian pornography. Do I compare it to other books I read? Do I compare it to erotica, contemporary and past? Do I compare it to other Victorian pornographic novels? I just don't know, and I'm not sure that there is much to be had out of trying. It is, of course, ridiculous. It is also fascinating, and thinking about it in terms of its publica ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating 19th C. porn novel...

The more things change, ....
Jan 12, 2012 Bianca rated it liked it
I read this for a project on male/homosexual prostitution in late 19th-century London.
I must say that the first time I read it, I was delighted by the vulgarity and had great fun sniggering whilst reading on the train.

After two more times of reading and plucking it apart, however, it's not as exciting and new anymore. (It's like watching the same porn twice, I suppose.)

Still.. interesting little volume, especially the question of authorship etc.!
I think it does disclose a lot of things about hom
Feb 06, 2013 Rafaela rated it it was ok
Shelves: read2013, x-ebook
I don't know dude. It's smut. It's smut from page one on, and it's not even particularly good smut. Though I will admit it makes and effort to be inclusive of... pretty much anything you can think of. Incest? Got it. Bestiality? Got it. Restraints and whips and gags? Got it.

I will admit I don't know how to rate this because I have nothing to compare it to. Either way, I will admit it's a fun read, if only because of the huh... expressions these lovely people used to described their genitals. Cal
Roof Beam Reader
Mar 03, 2013 Roof Beam Reader rated it really liked it
Pretty much every kind of sexual act (and "perversity) that one could imagine. The book was referenced in a historical text on homosexuality (Sodom on the Thames) and is incredibly interesting in its historical significance, speaking, perhaps, first-hand about actual events taking place in the early and mid-19th century. Real people, schools, brothels, and court cases are mentioned and/or implied, and the book closes with a brief account of (in)famous ancient Romans.
Kimberley Dane
Dec 22, 2010 Kimberley Dane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, victorian-porn
Oh I do love a little Victorian gay porn. No romance here, it is basically a memoir relating debauchery after debauchery, so it differs from Teleny rather a lot, and some of the words used to describe parts of the anatomy or sex acts just make me giggle, but I did enjoy it.

Of course I'm perhaps a little obsessed with the Victorian era, and so I think of this book as a little like reference material or research.
This is your classical Victorian porn but, I found it quite enjoyable. "Eveline"'s sex experiences were amusing, dirty and disgusting. I was a little shocked at first, this novel was way too graphic and some situations just seemed me unreal and disgusting but the rest was just fine.
Jan 06, 2010 Karky rated it liked it
Plot? What plot? Prostitution, cross-dressing, orgies, voyeurism, BDSM, pederasty, incest and bestiality... Yeah, there's not much missing on the taboo front. I knew it was dirty, but damn. I guess that's what one should expect from Victorian smut.
Sep 05, 2016 EmilieSA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I'm having a really hard time rating this book. Some chapters I loved, some I hated. I loved the beginning, didn't really like the end. The language was fun to read, it was oh so smutty, plot is inexistant but I wasn't really expecting one. I guess there's for everyone in there, as long as you're looking for something smutty and a bit taboo.
I'll probably re-read a few chapters on occasion, but yeah...I'm rather unsettled by it. Loved it? Didn't like it? I'm not sure what to make of it, but I su
Apr 28, 2016 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
A series of encounters by the narrator and more particularly by the well endowed young rent boy whoes account of personal experiences he commissions. The boy's experiences are wide and varied, and told in full detail, but what really makes this short book most interesting is the date - first published in 1881. It is a reminder today that there is nothing new under the sun, not in publishing terms or sexual practices.

Sins of the Cities of the Plain reads well with a light entertaining air, there
Dale Lowry
Jan 05, 2016 Dale Lowry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book purports to be stories told by a male prostitute about his sexual experiences and the enjoyment he gets from his profession. It was first published in the Victorian era.

Fascinating look into the Victorian erotic mind, written with lots of humor and a flair for language. This is the only book of Victorian era erotica I know of that focuses on sex between men. (The addendum on tribadism, e.g. sex between women, at the end is really an afterthought and more of an essay than erotica.)

The b
May 18, 2016 Shaun rated it really liked it
Jack Saul is a handsome young man in London, who has found his body to be his best asset and makes his way through life as a prostitute. One day, Jack is picked up by a male customer in Leicester Square, and after their encounter, the man offers to pay Jack for a written account of his experiences. What follows is The Sins of the Cities of the Plain, a narrative tracing in explicit detail the development of Jack's "vices" as he progresses from boarding school and into young adulthood amidst Lond ...more
Nicolas Wysocki
A vulgar yet entertaining look into the sexual proclivities and fantasies of a gay Victorian dandy, Jack Saul, presumably a ghost writers pen name. Hardly literature, its a quirky and perverted read though significant for its 1881 publication, making it a contribution to 19th century gay history and writings.
Wesley McCraw
Nov 13, 2014 Wesley McCraw rated it really liked it
Published in 1881, it's all gay sex. Funny, eye opening, and surprisingly easy reading.
Nov 09, 2010 Joanna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: queen creeps like me
Recommended to Joanna by: the internet
Is it creepy to be incredibly disappointed that they aged up at least one of the characters from 13 to 17 in this edition?
Michael Wynne
Feb 29, 2012 Michael Wynne rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and sexy and funny. A real lesson in how to mix humour and raunch.
David Allen White
Interesting. Suggested by another book, Prince Eddy ...
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