Posted on February 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Naomi Wolf may not have been thinking about the reaction to her book Outrages when she chose its title.
By now, the unintentional aptness of it has surely occurred to her, though.
The book about the treatment of homosexuals in Victorian England was revised for UK readers but canceled entirely for US readers after historians disputed the accuracy of some of Wolf’s claims back in 2019.
The revised version, however, hasn’t soothed their anger.
The Guardian reports that historian Matthew Sweet — the first vocal critic — and another historian, Fern Riddell, have both found errors in the corrected paperback version.
Wolf, they say, has wrongly identified cases of child and animal abuse as being evidence of persecution of consensual homosexual relationships.
The author, in response, told the Guardian: “My claim that a homosexual man in the 19th century in Britain would be subject to, and no doubt fearful of, prosecution under sodomy laws, and that sodomy laws included consenting adult acts, child abuse, sexual assault and even bestiality, is correct and not a misrepresentation of any sort.”
The Guardian has plenty more on the individual cases that Sweet and Riddell have highlighted.
Categories: Today in Books