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The Case of the 5 Virgin: The True Story of a Victorian Scandal [Paperback]

Gavin Weightman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 April 2013
In 1885 the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette published an account of a girl of thirteen being sold by her mother to a brothel, where her virginity would be highly prized. The editor was W T Stead, and his audacious scoop was telegraphed around the world. What became know as the story of the £5 virgin - the price that Stead claimed had been paid for the girl - was a sensation, one of the greatest scandals of the Victorian era. But was the story a 'put up job' as the playwright George Bernard Shaw judged it? With meticulous detective work Gavin Weightman has pieced together the true story of how the W T Stead, hero of the moral purity campaigners, fell victim to his own salacious imagination and wound up in the dock at the Old Bailey. At the heart of the story is an innocent cockney girl who later found immortality as the model for Eliza Doolittle in Shaw's most popular play, Pygmalion (My Fair Lady).

Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: backstory (6 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956246222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956246226
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,619,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gavin Weightman is the author of a series of colourful history books including The Frozen Water Trade, Signor Marconi's Magic Box, The Industrial Revolutionaries, and Children of Light: How Electricity Changed Britain Forever. After taking a degree in sociology at London University Gavin joined the staff of New Society in the mid-1970s as a feature writer. In 1978 he was recruited by London Weekend Television to produce and direct documentaries. These included two six-part history series entitled The Making of Modern London, as well as City Safari, Brave New Wilderness, London River and Bright Lights, Big City. For two years he was the presenter of The London Programme on LWT. He has published more than twenty books and written for numerous publications including History Today, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Independent. In 2012 the Royal Literary Fund appointed him as a Fellow at Queen Mary College, University of London. He lives in Stoke Newington, North London with illustrator Clare Beaton. You can find him at:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and intriguing story 15 July 2013
By noname
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not only a fascinating story, but Weightman conjures up life in Victorian London in a vivid and colourful way. Stead comes across as a complex and remarkable man. I like the writing style, and also enjoyed another of Weightman's books, "Signor Marconi's Magic Box". Both these books are a riveting read.
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