Author(s): Bridget O'Donnell
A hung Parliament, terrorist bombs, sex trafficking and tabloid war...Welcome to London, 1885. In Victorian London, the age of consent was just thirteen. Girls from poor backgrounds were enticed, tricked and sold - sometimes by their own parents - into prostitution. From the city, if not already marked out for a wealthy gentleman in a discreet brothel, the girls were trafficked on to Brussels and to Paris. All the while, the Establishment turned a blind eye. That is, until one policeman wrote an incendiary report. Disgraced in the backwaters of Chelsea for testifying against a corrupt colleague, Irish inspector Jeremiah Minahan was already finding his integrity unwelcome to the Metropolitan Police. But particularly explosive among his findings at Mary Jeffries' local establishment was this fact: that her clients were none other than those with the power to change the situation - the peers and politicians themselves. With Minahan unceremoniously out of a job, and other radicals already campaigning for a change in the law, the forces were in place for a spectacular confrontation. What ensued was a courtroom battle, a sensational newspaper expose that set the nation alight, and a sweltering summer in which many encountered their demise...This is the true story of a very Victorian revolution, and also, a story for our times.
Bridget O'Donnell is a former BBC producer. She lives in London. This is her first book.