This selection of images is taken from the new book Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna (Faber and Faber), a biography of two Victorian transvestites, Frederick William Park and Ernest Boulton, who were summoned before court in London in 1870 — still dressed as women — for having committed "the abominable crime of buggery". Had they been sentenced, they could have been condemned to penal servitude for the rest of their lives, but the prosecution was unable to prove that either had committed a 'homosexual offence'.
As Joanna Bourke comments in her review of the book in the March issue of BBC History Magazine, McKenna "is especially good at evoking the personalities of Stella, Fanny, and their friends. His prose is raucous. And it is often purple."