The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon

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W.T. Stead & The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon

This very night in London, and every night, year in and year out, not seven maidens only, but many times seven, selected almost as much by chance as those who in the Athenian market-place drew lots as to which should be flung into the Cretan labyrinth, will be offered up as the Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon..W. T. Stead (The Pall Mall Gazette, July 4, 1885)

Published in the Pall Mall Gazette in July, 1885, “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” was W.T. Stead’s highly scandalous expose of child prostitution. A tour de force of late nineteenth century prostitution, it exposed in graphic detail the entrapment, abduction and “sale” of young under-privileged girls to London brothels. Written in successive installments, Stead’s “infernal narrative”, as he called it, revealed to a respectable readership a criminal underworld of stinking brothels, fiendish procuresses, drugs and padded chambers, where upper-class paedophiles could revel “in the cries of an immature child…” Read More