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Sent: Fri 1/5/2007 8:48 AM Lesley, In my ignorance of the sexual culture of 1890s England, I'm not quite sure I understand your evaluation of your findings. Are you saying that the subject matter of this periodical's correspondence columns was such that you believe those columns to record fantasies, as opposed to anyone's actual behavior? Or do you read the correspondence columns as dominated by coded advertising? In either case, I can see why you'd distrust their claims about the frequency of pierced nipples in what are usually understood as "fashionable" circles, but if the latter, I'm not sure I'd discount their representation of a fashion for piercing. Perhaps I'm wrong in this, but I tend to think that the existence of advertising records the trace of a market for the wares it hawks. "Corporal punishment" and tight lacing were both real socio-sexual practices that allegedly enjoyed a certain vogue, so why should nipple piercing not have been? Or have the erotic uses of canes and corsets also been inflated in popular memory? Curious, ian Julian Carter, Ph.D Critical Studies California College of the Arts San Francisco and Oakland > > Further to my recent query on this subject, I have now made > investigations and all the evidence seems to suggest that the > single source for the apparent popularity of pierced nipples and > breast jewellery in 1890s England can be traced (via various > intermediary texts) to the correspondence columns of the periodical > _Society_ around 1899. > I would not consider this an entirely reliable source. Although > the journal does contain a substantial quota of social and > political news and gossip, reviews of plays, etc, the > correspondence column was almost entirely given over debates on > corporal punishment (this recalls the earlier famous one in _The > Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_), the merits of tight lacing, and > similar topics. There are advertisements by the pornography dealer > Carrington and increasingly what appear to be coded advertisements > for prostitution (offering rather specialised services). > I am therefore strongly inclined to consider this much > disseminated claim factitious, unless anyone has any additional > evidence in support. > Thanks > > Lesley Hall > firstname.lastname@example.org > www.lesleyahall.net > >