Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, but not scholarly, 31 Jan 2014
This review is from: History Prostitution: From Antiquity to the Present Day (Kegan Paul Library of Sexual Life) (Kindle Edition)
This book was first published in 1936 and at the time, it was the first history of prostitution to advocate a tolerationist, rather than abolitionist perspective. This edition reprints the second, enlarged edition published in 1968.

As a history, the book is hardly reliable: it rarely cites its sources, and there is considerable polemical bias in the argument. For instance the author refers to "the dour and ascetic St. Paul" (p.59), and calls the temple of Solomon "nothing but a brothel" (p. 57).

However, as a polemic, the book is persuasive and full of psychological insight. The chapters on why men go to prostitutes and why women become prostitutes are, between the two of them, well worth the purchase. (Other more historical chapters such as the chapter on sacred prostitution and the chapter on prostitution in the Bible, are incomplete, unreliable, and very outdated.)

George Ryley Scott (1886 - c.1980) was a prolific British author of books about sex, active from the late 1920s to the 1970s. He also wrote a number of books on the subjects of poultry, and a few others on health, corporal punishment, and writing itself. Scott styled himself "F.Z.S., F.R.A.I., F.Ph.S. (Eng.)", which can be understood to mean that he was a Fellow of the Zoological Society, of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and of the Public Health Service of England, but was not the recipient of an advanced degree.
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