1871 Photo of a child prostitute
Inscription at the back reads:
Mary Simpson a common prostitute age 10 or 11 year.
She has been known as Mrs. Berry for at least two years.
She is four month with child.
I had never heard of the Defloration Mania that ran rampant in England during the Victorian era until I read The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman. Basically, the Defloration Mania is child exploitation at its worst. It took place in London. Child brothels were in great abundance, preying on poor children or orphans because ten to fifteen year old children were all the rage back then.
Quote by Rush, a Journalist, 1980:
"There were never enough 'voluntary prostitutes' to meet the voracious Victorian demand. Consequently, enterprising entrepreneurs established a system of obtaining 'involuntary prostitutes' Men who wanted sex with little girls were prepared to pay a good price, and a standard pricing system brought about twenty pounds for a healthy working-class girl between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, a hundred pounds for a middle-class girl of the same age; and as much as four hundred pounds for a child from the upper class under age twelve..." The pain of rape for young girls was never a reason to limit sexual activity with them..but many child prostitutes were syphilitic by age eighteen."
Quote by Edholm 1893:
"Pain became an essential ingredient for pleasurable sex...and since the defloration of very young girls can be excruciating, Victorians were obsessed with a defloration mania. The screams of children became indispensable, shrill torture was the essence of delight and many gentlemen would not silence a single Such a process netted the child into permanent prostitution. The result is that in nine cases out of ten, or ninety-nine out of a hundred, the child who is usually under fifteen, frightened and friendless, her head aching...and full of pain and horror, gives up all hope, and in a week she is one of the attractions of the house."
One of the most notorious madams or procuresses of the era was Mary Jeffries (1854–1907). She ran several brothels in London, catering to the city's royalty, elite businessmen, and high level politicians. She arranged the abduction of children by offering to watch them while parents went to collect luggage or purchase train tickets. By the time they returned, there was no sight of the child.
Quote by Terrot, 1960:
"There was no form of sexual vice for which this murderess did not cater."
Quote by Stead 1960 writing for the Pall Mall Gazette describing one of her houses:
"Flogging or birching goes on in brothels to a much greater degree than is generally believed. One of Mrs. Jeffrie's rooms was fitted up like a torture chamber...There were rings in the ceiling for hanging women and children up by the wrists, ladders for strapping them down at any angle, as well as the ordinary stretcher to which the victim is fastened so as to be unable to move. The instruments of flagellation included the ordinary birch, whips, holly branches, and wire-thonged cat-o'-nine-tails."
If you want to learn more about the Defloration Mania, I just finished reading THE EIGHTH CIRCLE OF HELL by Gary Dolman, an outstanding fiction novel that describes the horrors that one young girl endured. Very poignant...Here's my review...
The Victorian age is often held up as a shining era of British history, a time of wealth and power, of civilisation and philanthropy. It was all of these. Yet it was also a time of cruelty and depravity, where power and wealth were too-often used for ill-purpose and exploitation. It was the time of the 'Defloration Mania', where young girls were bought and sold like the slaves they became. Elizabeth Wilson is an elderly woman who has spent a lifetime of grinding toil and poverty in a workhouse. She fled there as a young girl, pregnant and penniless, to escape her depraved uncle and his powerful friends. However, advancing dementia has caused her to regress inexorably back in her life, to the point where she is once again re-living the hellish memories of her life as an orphaned child.
The Eighth Circle of Hell' is a bleak study of the stark between the polite, strictly ordered society of the Victorian age, and the utter depravity and exploitation of the vulnerable it shielded. This story demonstrates how in the furnace of shared adversity, enmities and friendships can be forged that will last a lifetime, and which are more enduring than the boundaries of life and death.
In Victorian England, Elizabeth Wilson is a very young orphan, but the orphanage where she lives is not what it seems. It is run by unscrupulous, debauched patrons who force the young girls, and sometimes boys, to work as prostitutes. It is a brutal, no-holds-barred tale of Victorian England and the Defloration Mania that gripped society during that era.
The story is told through flashbacks by the heroine who is elderly and recalls the dark days of her childhood. It is a story about cruelty, violation, betrayal, and helplessness. To say the book stirs emotions while reading it would be an understatement – this story grips the reader with horror, anger, misery, and cruelty. It is an unforgettable journey into a long ago time that is not much different than today’s society.
This is the type of book that will stay with you for many years. Readers will be distressed, captivated, and awestruck by this tale. The author’s writing style is powerful and adds to the thrill the book provides. This book is more than memorable – it is an important expose on the cruelties faced by the sexual slave trade that still exists today. Bravo Gary Doman. More books please!