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    AC Benus
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose - 55. Jack Saul “Recollections of a Mary-Ann”

In James Gardiner’s recent entry (“A Bit of Scarlet”), fleeting reference is made to the following work. Here lays more soldier-for-hire intelligence.

**warning: some sexy content ahead**

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from Recollections of a Mary-Ann

 

The Fred Jones episode

 

(So far in the story, our hero Jack Saul has allowed himself to come into the good graces of a literary man he met while cruising one evening on Regent Street. After the sex, Mr. Ferdinand became intrigued with Saul’s life story and convinced the younger man to narrate it to him so he might write it down, with the object of seeing it published. About a week into their joint endeavor, Ferdinand has an assignment for the Gay Boy [Victorian slang for rentman].)

 

 

Mr. Ferdinand seemed rather pleased than otherwise at my misfortune [of being sacked for staying all night at his house], and promised to introduce me to a secret club, the members of which he assured me would only be too glad of my services at their pederastic seances, and my fortune would be at once assured.

This club was in a street out of Portland Place, and if you had looked in the London Directory, you would simply have found it as the residence of a Mr. Inslip – a rather suggestive name, you will think, considering the practices of the members of his club.

I afterwards found that no gentleman was admitted to the freedom of this establishment unless he first paid an admission fee of one hundred guineas, besides a handsome annual subscription and liberal payments for refreshments and the procuration of boys, soldiers or youths like myself.

My financial friend duly introduced me to Mr. Inslip, who was soon very favourably impressed by my feminine appearance and well-furnished implements of love.

The very same evening there was to be a club meeting, at least a dozen gentlemen being expected to be present, so after having subscribed my name to a very fearful oath of secrecy, I took my leave of the proprietor with a promise to look in and be introduced to his patrons about 10 p.m.

Just as he was seeing me to the door, there was a loud knock, and he opened it to a handsome, tall young fellow, with light auburn hair and deep blue eyes.

“The very man I want,” said Mr. Inslip. “Let me introduce you to a new friend. Mr. Saul; Mr. Fred Jones. Now Fred, you know we have a soirée tonight. Will you take care of Mr. Saul till then, and bring him back with you? You can let him into our ways a bit by that time, and then he'll be quite au fait.”

“All right, guv'nor,” responded Fred. “I like the look of him. So come along, my dear, and have a chop and cigars at my rooms,” he said, turning to me.

Mr. Jones had been a soldier in the Foot Guards, and, bought out by Mr. Inslip as soon as the latter found what a useful youth he was, in great favour with the members of his club.

“We all do it,” said Fred to me, as we sat smoking and sipping brandy and water after the chops he had invited me to partake of in his rooms. “It's the commonest thing possible in the Army. As soon as (or before) I had learned the goose-step, I bad learned to be goosed and enjoyed it, my dear; don't you, Jack?” he said, slapping my thigh and passing his hand over my most interesting member. “Now I'll tell you all about it. We'll keep ourselves fresh for to-night; but another day I mean to both fuck you and have you fuck me. Is that a bargain, my dear?”

Having assured him that I was perfectly agreeable to be his wife, or husband, whichever he preferred, at any, time, he continued: —

“I was saying how common [sex] is in the Army. Our old major was the first to introduce me to it. He made me drunk, and next morning I found myself in his bed with him. Money was everything with me then. It always has been. Why, I used to be the office lad to a solicitor at Liverpool, where I forged his cheque for a hundred pounds and ran away to London, had a damned spree for a week, lost or spent it all, then enlisted. It was the safest thing to do; the military rig-out so changes the appearance of a fellow.

“Well, I was speaking about our old major. Two or three quid squared me at once; and I let him get into my arse again, as no doubt he had done whilst I was drunk. That was the first time I really felt what it was like, and enjoyed it. My stars! how the old buck afterwards sucked my prick and frigged me till I hadn't a drop of spend left in me.

“In a very short time l got used to his ways, used to abuse him, telling him what a beast he was, etc., which used to delight him, and he would give me an extra sov[ereign] for it.

“I have had lots of women, but do not care for them, for they do not make half so much of us as gentlemen do, although they always pay us. You can easily imagine it is not so agreeable to spend half-an-hour with a housemaid, when one has been caressed all night by a nobleman.

“This is the experience of all the men of my regiment, and I know it is the same in the First; The Blues, and every regiment of Foot Guards.

“When a young fellow joins, someone of us breaks him in and teaches him the trick; but there is very little need of that, for it seems to come naturally to almost every young man, so few have escaped the demoralization of schools or crowded homes. We then have no difficulty in passing him onto some gentleman, who always pays us liberally for getting a fresh young thing for him.

“Although of course we all do it for the money, we also do it because we really like it, and if gentlemen gave us no money, I think we should do it all the same.

“Many of us were married; but that makes no difference. All we have to do is not to let the gentlemen know it, because married men are not in request.

“So far as I can see all the best gentlemen in London like running after soldiers, and I have letters from some of the very highest in the land. One gentleman, a nobleman, had me once in his own house, in the room next to his wife's boudoir. I heard her laughing, and talking, or playing on the piano, whilst her husband was on his knees before me, sucking my prick.

“We both Iaughed about it afterwards, especially when asked him if he thought her ladyship would not like a dose from the same bottle?

“On one occasion five of us went with one gentleman and acted with him or with one another for him to see, every kind of buggery, frigging and gamahuching. It was a luscious scene, just such as you will see to-night, my dear," he said, squeezing my stiff prick outside my trousers. “But wait till then; don't let my talk make you randy,” he continued.

“That gentlemen was a clergyman, and one of the most liberal friends I ever had.”

“Young fellows are quite as much after us as older men. I have often been fucked by young gentlemen of sixteen or seventeen, and at Windsor lots of the Eton boys come after us.

“I know two men in The Blues who are regularly kept by gentlemen, and one has an allowance of two hundred a year for allowing himself to be sucked.

“There are lots of houses in London for it. I will give you a list some day, where only soldiers are received, and where gentlemen can sleep with them. The best-known is now closed. It was the tobacconist's shop next door to Albany Street Barracks, Regent's Park, and was kept by Mrs. Truman. The old lady would receive orders from gentlemen, and then let us know. That is all over now, but there are still six houses in London that I know of. Inslip's Club, however, pays me best, so I am very little known elsewhere at present.”

He never allowed the conversation to flag all the evening, and rattled on in the same style till nearly ten o'clock; and I think by the time we put on our hats to go to the club he had fairly told me all he knew, and considerably opened my eyes as to how the thing was regularly practiced in the Modern Babylon.

Mr. Inslip always opened the door himself, and at once ushered us into a small dressing-room, where we left our hats and other impedimenta, and under Fred's directions I assumed a charming female costume. He acted as lady's maid, fitted my bust with a pair of false bubbies, frizzed my hair with curling irons, and fixed me up by adding a profusion of false plaits behind.

Then he also dressed himself as a girl, and when we both looked in the glass preparatory to going to join the company, we appeared so pretty and feminine that I was quite in love with him, and clasped him to my breast as I imprinted hot burning kisses on his lips, whilst my hands groped under his clothes, and up his drawers, till I had hold of a splendid stiff prick. His eyes fairly shot fire as he returned my ardent kisses for a moment or two, and then suddenly wrenched himself away, with the observation that we must not make fools of ourselves. We could have plenty of that sort of thing some other time.

He had evidently heard Inslip's foot-step, for that worthy appeared almost in a moment to ask how much longer we should be. He complimented us upon being two such perfect girls, and then said, “For this evening, Fred, your name is Isabel, and yours, Mr. Saul, is to be Eveline.”

“Gentlemen,” he said, as he ushered us into a fine large drawing-room, “these are the Misses Isabel and Eveline I had promised should be here to meet you this evening.”

—Jack Saul, [i]

1881

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i]from Recollections of a Mary-Ann” Jack Saul The Sins of the Cities of the Plains; or, Recollections of a Mary-Ann (London 1881), ps. 80-92

https://archive.org/details/sins_cities_plain_jacksaul_pdf/page/n83/mode/2up

Although, in typical Gay-erasure fashion, the internet is awash with straight-enforcing BS that Jack Saul never existed, I direct the reader’s attention to an expertly researched biography of the man. Glenn Chandler’s The Sins of Jack Saul: The True Story of Dublin Jack and the Cleveland Street Scandal (Guildford, Surrey, 2016) identifies the “Mary-Ann” with certainty. It stands now in its second edition, and will probably be updated as further information surfaces. Chandler’s book also details the tragic story of Jack Saul’s narrative itself: how the police raided the street of printing houses in London expressly looking for “sinful” material, arresting writer and publishers, and making bonfires of manuscripts and print editions. This witch-hunt purge, or pogrom, if you prefer, started a spying campaign in England’s censorship blackout which lasted well into the late 1960s, when finally ended by the courts. It had the chilling effect of ensuring all the best books by British writers saw publication overseas from 1880 to 1970. In the case of Recollections of a Mary-Ann, the original press run of 250 copies were all burned, except one, which some kind soul (no doubt, a queen…) slipped surreptitiously into the permanent collection of the British Library. There it lay unnoticed (thank heavens) until a researcher uncovered it and wrote about its content.

Because of the book’s rarity, I will mention a modern print edition is available from 521 Publishers (Amsterdam 2017).

_

Copyright © 2021 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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It is fascinating reading, all the more so for knowing this account survived a purge quite as thorough and severe as anything attempted by the Puritans almost 300 years earlier. What drives these waves of phobia? Any historians want to assay an explanation? 

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1 hour ago, Parker Owens said:

It is fascinating reading, all the more so for knowing this account survived a purge quite as thorough and severe as anything attempted by the Puritans almost 300 years earlier. What drives these waves of phobia? Any historians want to assay an explanation? 

Sadly, Parker, the answer is all to easy to give: a public afraid is a public under control. 1953's Fahrenheit 451 and 1948's 1984 were both damning criticisms on British censorship, which as I state, lasted until the very final years of the 1960s   

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84Mags

Posted (edited)

This is quite riveting. Not really knowing how many accounts were lost makes it all the more special to read. I looked up Glenn Chandler’s work and was then directed to Rictor Norton. I am not a historian, nor do I know enough about this individual to cite his works, but did find a few tidbits on Jack Saul. It’s sad to me how far we must dig to find history that should never have been lost. 

Edited by 84Mags
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29 minutes ago, 84Mags said:

This is quite riveting. Not really knowing how many accounts were lost makes it all the more special to read. I looked up Glenn Chandler’s work and was then directed to Rictor Norton. I am not a historian, nor do I know enough about this individual to cite his works, but did find a few tidbits on Jack Saul. It’s sad to me how far we must dig to find history that should never have been lost. 

Thanks, 84Mags. This segment of the book is really memorable to me. I think in a compact form it illustrates how free the work is. In fact, I'd characterize the whole book as innocent. There are many, versatile illustrations of sex in the book -- some between the sexes -- and they all inhabit a sphere where only the outside world's hypocrisy is dangerous and "dirty." This makes Recollections of a Mary-Ann stand out in contrast to a near-contemporary erotic work, which I will also feature in the Mirror. This second work presents a privileged white man's take on sexual freedom, and winds up quickly turning dark, with power and money rapidly killing any freedom of choice in what activities others are allowed. This work also features several Gay men, and the narrator's POV of them is fascinatingly open compared to the what one would think existed at the time. 

But that's for another day :)

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3 minutes ago, Lux Apollo said:

Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting piece of our history.

Thank you, Lux, for reading and commenting. I appreciate it 

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