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“An entertaining and well-illustrated anecdotal survey of ‘vice’ and efforts to control it in mid- and late 19th century Boston” (The Boston Guardian).
Victorian Boston was more than just stately brownstones and elite society that graced neighborhoods like Beacon Hill. As the population grew, the city developed a seedy underbelly just below its surface. Illegal saloons, prostitution, and sports gambling challenged the image of the Puritan City. Daughters of the Boston Brahmins posed for nude photographs. The grandson of President John Adams was roped into an elaborate confidence game. Reverend William Downs, a local Baptist pastor, was caught in bed with a married parishioner. Author Robert Wilhelm reveals the sinful history behind Boston’s Victorian grandeur.
“Amusingly and quaintly illustrated . . . about, for example, such lovely late 19th Century activities as prostitution, drinking in illegal saloons, animal fighting, sports gambling, opium dens and daughters of Boston Brahmins posing nude for photos.” —New England Diary