by Deborah Lutz

Norton & Company, $27.95, 331 pages

The Victorian Age, known for its repressive sexual attitudes and straight laced society. Or that is what the majority people want to believe. But there was a dangerous sexual exploration that was happening during the age of Victoria. An exploration that would help transform what was acceptable sexual tastes and attitudes, and try to free both men and women from the repressive Puritan society. It was both scandalous and illegal, several publishers and authors spent time in jail for publishing erotica. In this work, author Deborah Lutz explores the world of Victorian sex rebels, as they push the boundaries. She focuses on a few main people; Rossetti, Burton and Swinburne. The work is interesting, it shows that we might not be as sexually free as we might think. That these men, and few women, were more adventurous than we ever could be. Only one problem with this work is that it suffers from confusion, it tries to do a thematic approach mixed with a chronological one and it does not work. In this reviewer’s opinion, the author would have been better off by selecting one or the other approach.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter