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The Spiv and the ArchitectUnruly Life in Postwar London$
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Richard Hornsey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816653140

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816653140.001.0001

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Of Public Libraries and Paperbacks: The Sexual Geographies of Reading

Of Public Libraries and Paperbacks: The Sexual Geographies of Reading

(p.163) chapter 4 Of Public Libraries and Paperbacks: The Sexual Geographies of Reading
The Spiv and the Architect

Richard Hornsey

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter talks about the environmental factors and prescriptive geographies that surrounded the public life of books during postwar London. It discusses the popularity of the “vulgar” paperback in London, and how flamboyant book covers challenge the physical relationship of the book on display to the mind and body of prospective consumers. The chapter concludes with an account of the failed prosecution of Penguin Books Ltd. for its publication of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the conviction of queer lovers John Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, which demonstrates the sexual orderings that governed the postwar visibility of books.

Keywords:   postwar London, vulgar paperback, Penguin Books Ltd, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, John Orton, Kenneth Halliwell, postwar visibility

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