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jamie-stoops-the-thorny-path-pornography-in-early-twentieth-century-britain-montreal-mcgill-queens-university-press-2018-pp-312-dollar3995-cloth.pdf (55 kB)

Book Review: JAMIE STOOPS. The Thorny Path: Pornography in Early Twentieth-Century Britain. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018. Pp. 312. $39.95 (cloth).

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posted on 2023-01-18, 19:18 authored by Sarah BullSarah Bull

[p.1]: "Jamie Stoops’s The Thorny Path is a fascinating and much-needed addition to scholarship on the social history of pornography and its regulation. As Stoops points out in her introduction, investigations of this history in the British context have largely focused on the nineteenth century. Little scholarship has addressed the practicalities of making, distributing, and consum- ing pornography in Britain during the interwar period or examined the extent to which author- ities attempted to regulate it within the country. Over six chapters, Stoops addresses these practicalities, outlining (1) the structures of pornography production, distribution, and con- sumption in Britain between 1900 and 1945; (2) the British pornography trade’s relation to producers and consumers in other countries; (3) the content of British pornography during this period; (4) the British press’s representation of the trade; (5) anti-vice societies’ role in policing pornography within and outside British borders; and (6) the British state’s approaches to policing pornography. Stoops employs a broad definition of “pornography,” covering material of varying degrees of explicitness and a variety of media, including film, pho- tography, published and unpublished literature, pulp magazines, and comics."

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