Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dirty Sexy Money: The Hell-Fire Clubs

THE HELL-FIRE CLUBS are legendary. Salacious tales of orgies, prostitutes, erotica, extreme rituals, and initiation ceremonies titillated & scandalized the aristocratic eighteenth-century English society. In The Hellfire Clubs: Sex, Satanism and Secret Societies by Evelyn Lord (Yale University Press) thoroughly explores the club's premise as well as sets aside the exaggerated gossip about the secret Hell-Fire Clubs and brings to light the first accurate portrait of their membership (including John Wilkes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Prince of Wales), beliefs, activities, and the reasons for their proliferation, first in the British Isles and later in America, possibly under the auspices of Benjamin Franklin. Brilliant,
perverse, equally capable of elaborately obscene jests and the intricacies of parliamentary politics, the members of The Hellfire Club were the most astonishing men of their time. Since it's inception over two hundred years ago, the record of their revels has fascinated and repulsed the world.
Brilliantly readable and delving below the scandals to reveal the social and political impact of doing our own thing, which has roots far deeper than the post-war permissive society.
The Hell-Fire Clubs will appeal to all those curious about the shock-tactics of moral outrage.

Available at Yale, Amazon, Barnes&Noble

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