Prof. Reynolds Resurrects Nineteenth Century 'Sex and The City'

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BARUCH COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY (11/20/02)- Academic research doesn't usually include glimpses of fishnet stockings and the back-alley skullduggery of antebellum urban America - but as co-editor of the recently released Venus In Boston and Other Tales of Nineteenth Century City Life, a compilation of short works by infamous 19th century author George Thompson, Professor David S. Reynolds of the Baruch College English department gets to explore that and more. The stories in Venus in Boston are ribald parables depicting life in the growing cities of the northeastern seaboard.

Thompson made a living as a reporter and editor for various risqué newspapers like Life in Boston and New York and The Broadway Belle, but he earned his notoriety by contributing to the sexually graphic Venus' Miscellany. He also published dozens of novels, thrilling readers with a motley assembly of the crooked and corrupt. Venus in Boston contains three examples of Thompson's writing-"Venus in Boston", after which the book is named; "City Crimes"; and an equally colorful autobiography entitled "My Life". Combining serious social commentary with unabashed descriptions of graft and greed, Thompson's language and sometimes salacious themes refute the era's reputation as a conservative and repressed time.

Venus in Boston was co-edited, with Prof. Reynolds, by Professor Kimberley R. Gladman of New York University, and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press.