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Against The Law: The Classic Account of a Homosexual in 1950s Britain
Edition: New edition
Publication Date: 1999-10-28
Number of pages: 200
A riveting account of what it meant to be a homosexual in 1950s Britain, by a central figure in the celebrated Montagu Case
In March 1954 Peter Wildeblood, a London journalist, was one of five men charged with homosexual acts in the notorious Montagu Case, as it came to be known. Wildeblood was sentenced to eighteen months for homosexual offences, along with Lord Montagu and Major Michael Pitt-Rivers. The other two men were set free after turning Queen¿s Evidence.
In this book, first published in 1955, Peter Wildeblood tells the story of his childhood and schooldays, his war service and university days, his life as a journalist, his arrest, trial and imprisonment, and finally his return to freedom. In its honesty and restraint it is eloquent testimony to the inhumanity of the treatment of homosexuals in Britain only a generation ago.
Probably the first book on homosexuality to reach a mass audience in Britain, Against the Law had a direct influence on the Wolfenden Committee, whose Report in 1957 recommended that homosexual acts between consenting adults in private be legalised, proposals which were finally passed into law in 1967.