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UnspeakableA Life beyond Sexual Morality$
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Rachel Hope Cleves

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226733531

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

London Street Games

London Street Games

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter Seven London Street Games
Source:
Unspeakable
Author(s):

Rachel Hope Cleves

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226733678.003.0009

On Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, 1910, Norman Douglas met twelve year old Eric Wolton at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham. Wolton was a rough youth from Camden, a self-described delinquent. He and Douglas began a sexual relationship that lasted for years, during which Douglas took Wolton on trips to Italy with the permission of his parents, and tutored the boy in English literature. When they were separated, Wolton wrote Douglas affectionate letters. Douglas's 1915 travel book Old Calabria recounted their travels together. After meeting Wolton, Douglas began to spend more time in London, working as a reviewer for the English Review. Together with Wolton, Douglas studied the street games of London children, writing up lists of the games' names in an essay that he later expanded to a book. Eventually, Wolton outgrew Douglas's sexual interest and the relationship between the two became a familial friendship. As an adult, Wolton wrote to Douglas that he had no regrets about the nature of their earlier relationship. His loving letters pose a challenge for historical interpretation.

Keywords:   London, Eric Wolton, boys, Italy, Old Calabria, pederasty, Joseph Conrad, London Street Games, British literature, Norman Douglas

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