National Vigilance Association - banning of Zola’s novels (343 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


The later nineteenth century was marked by legislative concern about many aspects of what had previously been considered private sexual life, as evident in the regulation of prostitution by the Contagious Diseases Acts (1864, 1866, 1869), and debates in parliament about overcrowding in the dwellings of the poor and the risk of incestuous unions within families. Articles exposing child prostitution by W .T. Stead in the Pall Mall Gazette increased pressure for tighter legislation of public morals and the National Vigilance Association was formed in August 1885 “for the enforcement and improvement of the laws for the repression of criminal vice and public immorality” with Stead as a prominent member of its General Council.

Editors. "National Vigilance Association - banning of Zola’s novels". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2008
[, accessed 22 October 2016.]