Review: Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain by Violet Fenn

Title: Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain

Author: Violet Fenn

Pages: 144 Pages

Publisher: Pen & Sword

The Blurb

Peek beneath the bedsheets of nineteenth-century Britain in this affectionate, informative and fascinating look at sex and sexuality during the reign of Queen Victoria. It examines the prevailing attitudes towards male and female sexual behaviour, and the ways in which these attitudes were often determined by those in positions of power and authority. It also explores our ancestors’ ingenious, surprising, bizarre and often entertaining solutions to the challenges associated with maintaining a healthy sex life.

Did the people in Victorian times live up to their stereotypes when it came to sexual behaviour? This book will answer this question, as well as looking at fashion, food, science, art, medicine, magic, literature, love, politics, faith and superstition through a new lens, leaving the reader uplifted and with a new regard for the ingenuity and character of our great-great-grandparents.

The Review

One of my favourite period in history has to be the Victorian era. I will actively read books set during this time – fiction and non-fiction – just because the world was so fascinating. The changes that were occurring not just industrially but also socially – it always makes for an interesting read.

It was due to this that I was intrigued to read Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain. What made it even more interesting for me is that it isn’t focused on London which to be fair is usually the location for a lot of books on Victoriana. This book had links to my hometown of Liverpool. Hurrah.

Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain was fantastic. It was an academic book without the need of academia to be able to read, understand, and enjoy it. It was eye-opening and titillating all at once. Fenn has researched hr topic well and added the element of heart – something that sometimes lacks in other texts of this ilk. I hoovered this book, relishing every page and any fan of history should find enjoyment between these pages.

Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain by Violet Fenn is available now.

For more information regarding Violet Fenn (@violetfenn) please visit

For more information regarding Pen & Sword (@penswordbooks) please visit

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