Ronald Hyam
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During the eighteenth century contradictory developments took place in British attitudes towards sexuality. Historically, the sexual practices and attitudes of the British have several peculiarities compared with the rest of the non-European world. The Purity Campaign was extremely comprehensive in its scope, and changed the visible face of British life as well as many of its inner attitudes. The worst result of the late-Victorian campaign was the silence which descended over all aspects of sex, producing the most appalling ignorance. The qualities most unsparingly disparaged by the late-Victorians were sentimentalism and lack of sexual control. They had a horror of sex for the unmarried. The late nineteenth-century cult of manliness became a powerful and pervasive middle-class moral code. The golden age of athleticism was from about 1860 to 1914.

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Empire and sexuality

The British Experience

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