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The Sins of the Cities of the Plain (Valancourt Classics) Paperback – 24 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Valancourt Books (24 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934555312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934555316
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guy Mannering VINE VOICE on 8 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first came across the name of Jack Saul whilst reading Neil McKenna's amusing and highly entertaining book Fanny and Stella about a couple of outrageous transvestites who scandalised Victorian England. McKenna mentions Jack's "riotous memoirs" in which Fanny and Stella make an appearance and I wondered if they might still be in print as they sounded like a good read. Indeed they are, under their original and rather portentous title Sins Of The Cities Of The Plain (ie Sodom and Gomorrah).

Jack was what we would call in modern parlance a Victorian rentboy. He rather disarmingly describes himself as a lad who's "ready for a lark with a free gentleman at any time." We first encounter him trolling around Leicester Square pretending to window shop. He's dressed in rather tight trousers to show off his assets and it's not long before a passing toff snaps him up, whisks him off to his chambers, gives him a good steak dinner and a few glasses of fizz, whereupon Jack duly obliges with a bit of larking about. The toff is quite taken with the comely lad and offers to pay him the sum of £20 for his memoirs. A short while later Jack delivers the manuscript, which runs to about 80 printed pages, in which he describes his sexual escapades with schoolboys, milkmaids, toffs and aristos in quite explicit detail.

"Sins" was first published privately in 1881 in two rather slim volumes (perhaps to aid concealment.) You will only need to read a few pages before your suspicions start to mount. Did Jack Saul really exist, did he write these memoirs or were they ghostwritten, and either way how much of it can you believe?

Well, John Saul, also known as Dublin Jack, certainly existed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By discofan on 13 Jun. 2013
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This book and the author Jack Saul was mentioned in both The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde and The Story of Stella & Fanny and these were books that I enjoyed.

It is intriguing to discover that books as erotic/pornographic were published in Victorian Britain.

A good read but not for the prudish and certainly not a book to read on the train with someone reading it over your shoulder.

An insight into the other side of Victorian Britain
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By UncleRalph on 26 July 2014
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stinks !!!
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0 of 22 people found the following review helpful By JOANNA on 29 Jan. 2014
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SAD SAD bhttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51FpsOfuV2L._SS300_.jpgook decent into hell full of stench of excrement urine sperm and filthy sweating men ,the thought makes me want to vomit ,The author must have enjoyed playing with the contents of his chamber pot as a child,Life is beautiful ,but Satan is alive
and kicking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating 17 Sept. 2013
By Andrew Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating account of a male prostitute in the Victorian era, fact embellished with fiction. A must for anyone interestedin homosexuality at this time.
Fascinating Insight into a Hidden 19th Century World 15 July 2014
By ronaldz72 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short, amazing pornographic novel revolves the factual Cleveland Street brothel, a scandal around which I had read in "Prince Eddy and the Homosexual Underworld by Theo Aronson. Gives a fascinating insight into a 19th century world, which was unknown to me and inspires me to read other stories of that era
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