Hindsight - 25 September 2011 - Queens of Harlotry: sex, power and moral panic in 19th century Melbourne

In the wake of the Victorian goldrushes in the mid 19th century, the city of Melbourne boomed,and was transformed from a small town into a bustling metropolis, with all the attractions and excesses that a city can offer. The city also, at this time, became the site for a struggle over morality, sex and power. This program explores this moral panic which emerged in 19th century Melbourne through the stories of two well-known women of the period - the ‘entertainer’ known as Lola Montez [Irish born Maria Eliza Gilbert] and the notorious brothel owner Madame Brussels [German born Caroline Hodgson]

During their lives, both of these women challenged the prevailing Victorian orthodoxies around gender and sexuality. And both of their real life stories were richer and more complex than the public personas that each of them has been remembered by.

Dr Clare Wright – http://www.clarewright.com.au

Professor Rae Francis, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Professor Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University

Lenny Robinson

Publications: Title: Selling Sex: A Hidden History of Prostitution
Author: Rae Francis
Publisher: UNSW Press, 2007.

Title: ‘Madame Brussels - A Moral Pandemonium’
Author: LM Robinson
Publisher: Arcade Press 2009

Title: Negotiating poverty: women and charity in Nineteenth Century Melbourne
Author: Shurlee Swain
Publisher: Women’s History Review, 16(1): 99-112. 2007


Possibly related…

  1. Hindsight - 30 October 2011 - Malthus and the New World

    People love to hate him, but when historian Alison Bashford stumbled across the 1803 edition of Malthus’s ‘Essay on the Principle of Population’, an updated version of the first publication in 1798, she saw the British parson and political economist in a whole new light. The 1803 edition contained extra chapters, one of which examined population through the experience of the young colony of NSW. Alison Bashford began to realise that there was a great deal more in Malthus’s thesis than had been assumed-his study of the New World raised questions about colonialism, occupation, land, and how we share it- deeply moral and enduring concerns, which the contemporary world continues to grapple with.

    Title: Geopolitics and the World Population Problem: life and earth in the global twentieth century
    Author: Alison Bashford
    Publisher: Columbia University Press [forthcoming]


    —Huffduffed by theJBJshow 2 years ago

  2. The Chinese in Bendigo during the gold rush, La Trobe University

    When gold was discovered in Australia in the 1850s, it led to a gold rush. Prospectors came to the country from all over the world, with the largest foreign contingent coming from China.


    —Huffduffed by theJBJshow one year ago

  3. The Cinema of Distraction: the Australian drive-in - Hindsight - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    In February 1954 the first drive-in opened in Australia, in the outer Melbourne suburb of Burwood. Within two years, drive-in cinemas had sprung up in cities and country towns all over the country, as Australians embraced this new form of leisure that combined their twin passions for the cinema and the car. This feature explores the social changes that took place in Australia in the post war decades, which provided the backdrop for the popularity of drive-in cinema, where ‘the comfort lay in all the things you could do’. We also hear from some of the pioneer operators, and from those with memories of visits to the drive-in.

    Further Information:
    A tribute to Australian Drive-ins (http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au/)


    —Huffduffed by theJBJshow one year ago