28 Apr 2018

THE ARMSTRONG GIRL: A CHILD FOR SALE: THE BATTLE AGAINST THE VICTORIAN SEX TRADE.

 THE ARMSTRONG GIRL: A CHILD FOR SALE: THE BATTLE AGAINST THE VICTORIAN SEX TRADE by CATHY LE FEUVRE.


In 1885 Victorian England was scandalized by a court case that lifted the veil on prostitution and the sex trade. In the Old Bailey dock stood W.T. Stead, the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, which had recently published a series of articles on the sex trade; Rebecca Jarrett, a reformed brothel brothel keeper; and the second-in-command of The Salvation Army, Bramwell Booth. They were accused of abducting a thirteen-year-old girl, Eliza Armstrong, apparently buying her for the purpose of prostitution. In fact they had done this as a sensational expose of the trade in young girls. The scandal triggered a massive petition and ultimately resulted in the raising of the British age of consent from thirteen to sixteen. 

Today human trafficking is once again making world headlines - as are recent calls to lower of age consent. Eliza's story is a thrilling account of what can be achieved by those brave enough to believe that change is not only possible but has to come.  
- Back Cover Blurb

I was 13 years old last April.
- First Sentence, Chapter 1: Eliza In The Witness Box

(This wasn't the first, and it certainly wasn't the last flirtation which Stead would have with women other than his wife. The long-suffering Emma would in due course withdraw marital rights and become cold towards her husband, not just because of his 'affairs of the heart' but also as a result of the outrage against some of his professional antics.)
- Memorable Moment

SOURCE ... Borrowed from a fellow bibliophile, thanks for the loan Jim.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No

MY THOUGHTS ... Very interesting, a powerful insight into an era when the age of consent as far as sexual relations went was 13, when people generally speaking didn't know about or, worse still, didn't blink an eye about what was essentially the 'purchasing' of girls (and boys) for sexual purposes until ...

Lifting the veil on the sordid world of child prostitution, along with several others, journalist and editor, William E Stead took up the cause. A cause that was to lead them into the dock of the Old Bailey.

Hardly a pleasant read but nevertheless an important one that, sadly, is still relevant today as our society battles with similar issues.

Abounding with quotations from original sources including those taken directly from the newspaper articles which chronicled the case surrounding Eliza Armstrong, the Armstrong girl of the title. Well written, I'd suggest this as a great read for those with an interest in social history.


10 comments:

Kelly said...

This sounds like an excellent book on a topic that I'm afraid has always been timely, all throughout history.

Given I've read a great deal of disturbing social history over the past few months, I won't add this to my wish list. But if I ever happen to see it, I'll pick it up for sometime in the future.

Brian Joseph said...

This sound like a very worthwhile read. When one some The Victorian novelists like Dickens one get a sense of the problem faced in those times. T

The fact that human trafficking is in the headlines is a positive development as I think that it was always there. Perhaps people paying attention to it will help to lessen its frequency.

Suko said...

Tracy,
Thank you for such a thoughtful review. It sounds like an interesting book about an important subject.

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
This sounds like a very disturbing,
interesting and important book, and
I will add it to my lust.
Raven

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. Thank you for your positive review, I'll try and get a copy to read. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

Melliane said...

not an easy topic

The Bookworm said...

This sounds like an interesting book on an important topic.

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like a difficult topic to read about. It's so sad that sex trafficking is still a big thing today.

DMS said...

This sounds like a book that will stay with us long after we read it because the topic is so difficult and sex trafficking is still so prevalent. I didn't know much about the history you mentioned- so I have to say that I am curious to learn more. Thanks for sharing.
~Jess

Literary Feline said...

This does sound like a relevant read. Human trafficking is something I hear about every day due to my work. It's long been a problem throughout our history, as this book shows. I will have to give this book a try!