Jan 21

Sunday Times Book Review by Dominic Sandbrook for Fanny and Stella


I was delighted to have Fanny and Stella reviewed by Dominic Sandbrook in the book section of The Sunday Times on January 20th 2013.  Here are some of the best bits!


‘This rollicking account of the trial of two middle-class cross-dressers unveils one of the most extraordinary legal dramas of the Victorian age.’

‘..as Neil McKenna explains in this rich and absorbing book what happened at Newgate in 1870 was merely a minor scene in one of the most extraordinary legal dramas of the Victorian age; the trial of Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park for sodomy.’

‘Since courtroom dramas depend on uncertainty, it would be a shame to give away the book’s ending, but McKenna has done a tremendous job of re-creating Victorian London’s gay subculture, weaving newspaper reports, police documents and contemporary diaries into a jolly and rollicking narrative.  

It would be an understatement to call it a colourful book; open a page at random, and you find yourself in a world of prostitutes, cross-dressers and hermaphrodites.’

‘Fanny and Stella is a cracking read.’


Thanks, Dominic Sandbrook!




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