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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year that Sir Ian McKellen called "a shocking tale of heroes and villains - illuminating and upsetting in equal measure."The first production of Oscar Wilde's Salomé in 1918, with American exotic dancer Maud Allan dancing lead, ignited a firestorm in London spearheaded by Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament and self-appointed guardian of family values. Billing attacked Allan in the right-wing newspaper Vigilante as a member of the "Cult of the Clitoris," a feminine version of the "Cult of the Wilde," a catchall for the degeneracy and perversion he was convinced had infected the land. He claimed that a black book was in the hands of their enemies the Germans, a book that contained the names of thousands of the British establishment who without doubt were members of the cult.



About the Author

Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare is the author of several books, including 'Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant'; 'Noel Coward: A Biography'; 'Oscar Wilde's Last Stand'; 'Spike Island' and 'England's Lost Eden'. He lives in Hoxton, London, and Southampton, and each summer visits Cape Cod, where, as a member of the Center for Coastal Studies, he undertakes twice-daily expeditions to watch its whales.



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