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Slow PrintLiterary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture$
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Elizabeth Carolyn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784085

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784085.001.0001

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Free Love, Free Print

Free Love, Free Print

Sex Radicalism, Censorship, and the Biopolitical Turn

Chapter:
(p.257) Chapter 6 Free Love, Free Print
Source:
Slow Print
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804784085.003.0007

This chapter considers the migration of the old liberal line on print enlightenment into the sphere of sexual radicalism at the end of the nineteenth century. In terms of class radicalism, turn-of-the-century radical print registers a widespread loss of confidence in the political effectiveness of the free print cause, but at the same time such rhetoric persisted in the corner of the radical press that focused on sexuality. This is particularly apparent in print activism around censorship and biopolitical issues such as free love, birth control, homosexuality, and sexual discourse in the public sphere. Examining a wide variety of texts—such as the free love journal The Adult; suppressed writing on homosexuality by Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis; radical press accounts of “free love novels” (such as Grant Allen's The Woman Who Did, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, and Edith Ellis' Seaweed); and the pro-birth control women's columns of the Clarion—the chapter highlights a radical turn to sexuality, usually attributed to modernism, to the evolving political charge of the old radical free print discourse.

Keywords:   radical print, radical press, sexuality, censorship, free love, birth control, homosexuality, radical free print

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