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Geographies of Regulation
Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Britain and the Empire

Part of Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography

  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521853651

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  • In the nineteenth century British authorities at home and abroad attempted to regulate prostitution in order to combat the spread of venereal diseases. Philip Howell examines in detail four sites of such regulated prostitution - Liverpool, Cambridge, Gibraltar and Hong Kong - and considers the similarities as well as the differences between colonial and metropolitan practices. Placing these sites within their local, regional and global contexts, the author argues that the British administration of commercial sexuality was deeper and more extensive than conventionally portrayed. The book challenges our understanding of what constitutes colonial regulation and also confronts imperial historiographies in which projects are simply translated from metropolis to periphery. By emphasizing both particular sites of regulated prostitution, and their place in the British imperial world, this book contributes not only to histories of gender and sexuality, but also to the revision of British imperial history.

    • Provides an integrated overview of the range of policies for regulating prostitution within Britain and its Empire
    • Demonstrates the importance of the geography of regulated sexuality
    • Will be of interest to historical geographers, imperial and colonial historians, social theorists, criminologists and political scientists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For specialists in Victorian history with an interest in prostitution at home or abroad, this volume makes a welcome contribution to the growing historiography about these issues.' Richard Cosgrove, H-Net

    'Howell's account demonstrates the important connections between the regulation of prostitution in the metropolis and its (overseas) colonies … this is a truly dazzling elucidation of the geographies of regulation that bound Britain and its Empire.' The Geographical Journal

    '[Howell's] impressive body of work, culminating and enriched in this new monograph, will certainly have a significant and lasting impact on the way that historians and historical geographers discuss how prostitution was controlled in Britain and around the world.' Cultural and Social History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521853651
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 19 maps 7 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Britain and the historical geography of regulationism
    2. Partial legislation and privileged places: the contagious diseases acts
    3. Liverpool, localisation and the municipal regulation of prostitution in Britain
    4. A private contagious diseases act: prostitution and the proctorial system in Victorian Oxbridge
    5. Sexuality, sovereignty and space: colonial law and the making of prostitute subjects in Gibraltar and the British Mediterranean
    6. Race and the regulation of prostitution in Hong Kong and the overseas empire
    7. Conclusions: mapping the politics of regulation.

  • Author

    Philip Howell, University of Cambridge
    Philip Howell is senior lecturer in the Department of Geography, Cambridge University and a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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