Re: Literary sleuthery

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a mutual aid society of composed of the many pseudonyms of a curiously nipple-obsessed independent scholar

I don't see why this couldn't be a perfectly good mouseover text.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 3:35 PM
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What's curious about nipple obsession?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 3:35 PM
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That article is WAY too long. Can we get a summary please, albeit one that is longer than the excessively summary in the OP. I have important matters elsewhere that require my attention and I would appreciate your assistance in this matter. Thank you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 4:14 PM
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"Excessively short," that is to say. Thank you in advance for preparing a summary of precisely the right length.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 4:15 PM
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The main point of the article is that you need to learn to love yourself. I missed some of the details.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 4:52 PM
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Are we completely sure the linked article isn't a big Borgesian fiction-as-nonfiction?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:06 PM
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No! That's what makes it so wonderful!

Though I guess one could look up the works of the main player(s).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:15 PM
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I remember reading this Slate thing on the purported meetup but don't actually remember what it says. I guess I could read it again!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:25 PM
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5: if you don't love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:26 PM
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6 - I'm just going to assume it is, or else it's F. R. Leavis' What Mad Universe.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:36 PM
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Holy crap, that article is indeed way too fucking long.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 5:54 PM
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Read until you get bored, then read the last two paragraphs.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:07 PM
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The tone of that article is rather odd: it sounds like the writer is intent on dissing (as quite beneath us all) the various players ... er, quoting at length for those disinclined to read:

Coincidentally, I had already come across Leo Bellingham's name, in a discussion of university novels. Moonlighting from my teaching of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I had been putting together a new seminar on campus fictions; Bellingham's name had just crossed my radar, initially in an article written by an independent, Cambridge-based scholar named John Schellenberger. In 1980 Bellingham had published Oxford: The novel. Plodding, with stilted dialogue and tiresome, archly constructed scenes of eavesdropping and retelling, the book chronicles the student hero's pursuit - some might say stalking - of the elusive woman who will eventually become his wife.

The tone is normal for some, but I have a hard time believing it's not put on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:12 PM
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I don't know why you people think the article is too long.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:14 PM
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I just got to the end, skimming style.

It is not only that the apparent practice of submitting articles under fictitious names to scholarly journals might well have a chilling effect on the ability of really existing independent scholars to place their work. Nor is it just the embarrassment caused to editors who might in an ideal world have taken more pains to check the contributions of Stephanie Harvey or Trevor McGovern, but who accepted them in good faith, partly out of a wish to make their publications as inclusive as possible.

...


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:16 PM
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It's only 10000 words.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:17 PM
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How many pages, like double-spaced with 1 inch margins, is 10000 words? (I want to translate this to paper length.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:20 PM
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Too long, I'm sure, for young people in these days of supersonic hedgehog brothers and ready-sliced golf-shots.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:23 PM
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I can't take it seriously if it's not written in longhand in cursive.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:24 PM
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What does the wordcount or the number of pages have to do with whether or not it's too long?

(FTR I highly doubt it's 10,000 words long.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:26 PM
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More fool me! It is about 10,000 words!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:27 PM
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Yeah, it totally is. You were so wrong, nosflow. So very wrong.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:29 PM
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Not too long! And also SUPER CRAZYPANTS.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:30 PM
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(I'm just annoyed because I took the time to select-all, copy, and paste it into a text-editor to check, only to see that you'd already acknowledged your mistake. Damn you.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:30 PM
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The tone is normal for some, but I have a hard time believing it's not put on.

Indeed, I believe it's a big Borgesian metafiction (or possibly F. R. Leavis' What Mad Universe).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:31 PM
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The paragraphs are ridiculously long as well, that's the thing.

It's actually hilarious:

Last year a new edition of Oxford: The novel was published by Brewin Books of Warwickshire. It is presented as though a first edition, and the author's name is given as A. D. Harvey. Leo Bellingham is nowhere mentioned, and the blurb calls Warriors of the Rainbow Harvey's "previous novel". The plot is the same, the prose more ornate - the nipples are now described as "everted" - and the hero's wife continues to believe that the TLS is "beyond criticism". Yet several months ago, when I contacted A. D. Harvey through an intermediary to enquire what if anything he knew about the Dostoevsky- Dickens encounter, he asked that I be forwarded an article on the Luftwaffe and aerial combat in the Second World War, which he characterized as a good example of his recent work.

Now that's just funny. (I'll stop quoting at length now -- it's for those who're unlikely to read or skim.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:35 PM
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10000 words is the equivalent of what, 500 Borges stories?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:37 PM
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The paragraphs are long … ?

Don't you sell books for a living?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:37 PM
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That article is WAY too long awesome.

FTFY.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:39 PM
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12 seems like good advice. It's very interesting until you get bored. Which I bet varies for different people.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:40 PM
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The author of the article has worked on Nabokov. The whole thing feels sorta Nabokovian to me. I'm not sure if I want to figure out if it's true or not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:42 PM
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The author of the article has worked on Nabokov. The whole thing feels sorta Nabokovian to me. I'm not sure if I want to figure out if it's true or not.

I know, right? There is this, but... still.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:43 PM
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28: Online reading is better served by shorter paragraphs, for various reasons, don't you think? They don't need to be those one-sentence paragraphs you frequently see, but large solid blocks of text are more difficult on the screen than on paper, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:45 PM
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I mean, certainly the article about Dickens and Dostoyevsky really was in The Dickensian, since there are all kinds of stories about that on the web. I guess I'll assume it's all true.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:46 PM
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27: Or 1666 Hemingway shorts (and the oddly anticlimactic "For sale: Baby shoes").


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:46 PM
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Nobody complains about the websites that do long exposés of people with Munchausen by Internet making scores of supportive facebook profiles and so on, and this is basically the same thing. I enjoyed the article and think the length and thus depth improved it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 6:47 PM
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the websites that do long exposés of people with Munchausen by Internet making scores of supportive facebook profiles and so on

Oh, right, those things. (What's that, now?)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:02 PM
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Let me be the first to say the linked article is too long.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:21 PM
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Oh, right, those things. (What's that, now?)

Who knows!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:28 PM
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Oh, thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:40 PM
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Anyone want to pool some money with me so we can buy letusgooglethatforparsimon.com?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:40 PM
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Ok, I've now read the linked article. The only appropriate summary would be the same article, minus the pull quotes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:54 PM
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41: I'm in for zillions of dollars!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 7:59 PM
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That is an amazing article. Yes, it's long, but it's well worth the time it takes to read the whole thing. If you must have a summary, neb's OP is an excellent one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-10-13 9:06 PM
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I just tried to give someone the cliffnotes of the first third, which I had read, over dinner. I took maybe 10 minutes, which included breaks to order and eat burritos, and a side tangent to explain who Dostoevsky is. When I was done he said, "that was not the cliff notes version. The cliff notes version is there was some dude and he likes fooling people by pretending to write articles and books under different fake names which reference each other." I like the "Munchausen by journal article" phrasing better though.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 12:28 AM
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He then told me about this which seems like a fine dessert piece to the rest of the OP which I think I might now finish. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/health/for-scientists-an-exploding-world-of-pseudo-academia.html?smid=tw-nytimesscience&seid=auto&_r=1&pagewanted=all&


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 12:31 AM
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. Yet several months ago, when I contacted A. D. Harvey through an intermediary to enquire what if anything he knew about the Dostoevsky- Dickens encounter, he asked that I be forwarded an article on the Luftwaffe and aerial combat in the Second World War

"Fyodor! Break left! Messerschmitts coming in high!"
"Oh, I don't care. Let them catch me."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 3:07 AM
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Obvious reference: the Fabian Aces. (via John Holbo, of course.)

Radio-listeners and newsreel-watchers worldwide thrill to the exploits of ex-Royal Indian Air Force pilot Eric "Dusty" Blair, Frenchman Antoine "Santo" de Saint-Exupéry, and the rest of the international rogue's gallery of volunteer aviators known as the Fabian Aces.

With the help of two-fisted American mechanic "Papa" Hemingway, the Aces are the backbone of the Loyalist resistance, turning back Franco and his moros again and again. The worldwide popularity of Blair and his Aces is a constant goad to the Fascist governments and an ever-present rebuke to the Liberals' policy of neutrality. When Blair's De Havilland finally meets Fascist ace Charles Lindbergh's Messerschmitt over Barcelona, the back of Franco's coup is broken. Though the United States will not allow the League of Nations to act, Britain and France, shamed by the bravery of their countrymen, nevertheless enter the war on the Loyalist side...


http://irrationalhistories.blogspot.co.uk/2005/06/ad-1937.html
Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 3:12 AM
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48. Fuck. That was possibly my favourite site of all time, but I'd completely forgotten that entry.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 4:07 AM
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Actually I am quite enjoying "What If Famous 19th Century Authors Had Been WW2 Fighter Pilots". Mark Twain lying about his name and nationality in order to enlist. "Of course I am Canadian, sir! I am merely from Southern Canada."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 4:22 AM
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Wow. I didn't know that site. Totally brilliant.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 4:31 AM
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48: you know who's parsimonious with his words? that holbo fellow.

unrelatedly, I judged the linked article to be of perfect length, but will more people please reassure me about the facticity of the whole thing? I would feel annoyed had it been a self-indulgent article by an individual with an unhealthy obsession with areolae.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 4:38 AM
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That would make me more likely to read it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 5:00 AM
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52: Well, rfts's link in 32 suggests it's true. Amazon lists several other books by A.D. Harvey, at least a few of which were mentioned in the article. So there's at least some promising circumstantial evidence that it's true.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 5:44 AM
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"Fyodor! Break left! Messerschmitts coming in high!"
"Oh, I don't care. Let them catch me."

He would later reference this episode in his unfinished work, The Brothers Kamikaze.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 5:50 AM
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Interesting contrast between this thread and CT. Over there there are a bunch of scolds getting all bent out of shape about how this is fraud and academic misconduct and that just isn't funny you know. One person even calls it "nauseating". I still go with "awesome".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 5:50 AM
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55: 10 points to ravenclaw.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 5:57 AM
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With the help of two-fisted American mechanic "Papa" Hemingway, the Aces are the backbone of the Loyalist resistance

That's only slightly more fanciful than the real life Hemingway. From Anthony Beevor's book on the Battle of Normandy:

In the town of Rambouillet, Leclerc's officers were suprised to find at the Hôtel du Grand Veneur a cast of characters worthy of an improbable play...Ernest Hemingway, officially a war correspondent for Collier's magazine, was far more interested in acting as an irregular soldier with the local Resistance. He openly carried a heavy automatic pistol, even though it was strictly illegal for a non-combatant. According to John Mowinckel, an American intelligence officer stationed there, Hemingway wanted to interrogate a pathetic German prisoner hauled in by his new Resistance friends. "I'll make him talk," he boasted. Take his boots off. We'll grill his toes with a candle." Mowinckel told Hemingway to go to hell and released the boy, who clearly knew nothing. [...]
When the fighting was over, most of the correspondents headed for the Hôtel Scribe, which they had known from before the war. Hemingway and David Bruce, surrounded by some of the writer's improvised militia, went straight to the Ritz, which Hemingway was determined to "liberate".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 6:13 AM
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56

Interesting contrast between this thread and CT. Over there there are a bunch of scolds getting all bent out of shape about how this is fraud and academic misconduct and that just isn't funny you know. One person even calls it "nauseating". I still go with "awesome".

Well of course it is easy to be amused if you don't take literary criticism seriously in the first place.

How would feel about someone who went to similar lengths to get fake measurements into the physics literature?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 6:44 AM
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57: oh, indeed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 7:03 AM
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Re: 59 yeah, essear, how would you feel if your field featured cranks who went to elaborate, oft-fraudulent lengths to get their work noticed after perceived snubs by the academy? You should just be glad that definitely never happens in physics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 7:12 AM
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This article is great and very easy to read. I don't see how it could be summarized better than it is in the OP.

Indeed, whether someone devotes his academic career to creating a fabricated backing for his theory of how something damages the heart, or spends his time fabricating data on how stress affects vultures, nobody is amused.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 7:51 AM
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Amazon lists several other books by A.D. Harvey, at least a few of which were mentioned in the article. So there's at least some promising circumstantial evidence that it's true.

Someone on metafilter claims to own Sex in Georgian England; another chimes in with "Harvey's 1978 article, 'Prosecutions for Sodomy in England at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century' (JSTOR) is still widely cited as showing that there was a moral panic about homosexuality in the early nineteenth century. It's a pioneering article in its way, as not many scholars in the mid-1970s were doing serious archival research on the history of sexuality. However, Harvey's book on Sex on Georgian England is deeply flawed, as this 1995 review points out".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 7:57 AM
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Presumably A.D. Harvey is in every thread about this under a pseudonym, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 8:13 AM
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Now that I think about it, the article doesn't mention Harvey introducing any actual lies into the historical record at all, in all his years of sock-puppetry, except the one Dickens/Dostoevsky anecdote. Everything else just seems to be a roundabout campaign to convince people that the work of A.D. Harvey is worth reading. And since that campaign was a total bust, maybe nobody would have noticed at all if not for the weird Dickens/Dostoevsky thing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 10:27 AM
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64: I wonder who "Eric Naiman" really is.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 12:56 PM
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He's no Edmund Backhouse, that's for sure.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 2:46 PM
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64: If not, we should add that to the standard list of suggested pseuds, along with Wry Cooter.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 04-11-13 3:00 PM
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It occurs to me that I own Sex in Georgian England, though I couldn't put my hand to it at the moment. One of those things you pick up while browsing a second hand store, read once and never get round to giving it to Oxfam.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-12-13 1:57 AM
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How ironic if it transpires that the entire TLS is produced by one balding middle-aged man living in a basement somewhere.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-12-13 2:35 AM
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I own 'Sex in Georgian England,' though I couldn't put my hand to it at the moment IYKWIMAITTYD


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-12-13 4:35 AM
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I own sex in Georgian England.


Posted by: Lord Byron | Link to this comment | 04-12-13 6:18 AM
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I thought the whole thing was sweet.


Posted by: Stephanie R | Link to this comment | 04-12-13 8:55 AM
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