Feminist, best-selling author and former political adviser Naomi Wolf will be talking about her new book to the literary journalist Erica Wagner in Bloomsbury this month.

Naomi Wolf.
Naomi Wolf will be in Bloomsbury talking about The Obscene Publications Act of 1857.

In Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love, Wolf examines how the state came to outlaw sexual relations between men, and how anything referring to this love became obscene, unprintable, unspeakable.

She describes how this played out among a bohemian group of sexual dissidents, including Walt Whitman in America and the closeted homosexual English critic John Addington Symonds who was in love with Whitman’s collection of homoerotic poetry Leaves of Grass.

Swinburne, Walter Pater, the Rossettis and Oscar Wilde all feature in Wolf’s analysis of how the state sought to exercise surveillance over the printed word, and of how artists and writers sought, ingeniously if not always successfully, to evade that surveillance.

Outrages: Naomi Wolf and Erica Wagner, at Logan Hall, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL, 20 May 2019 at 7 pm. Tickets are £12 from: London Review Bookshop.