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Cultural notebook: the seedier stacks of the British Library

Pornography might have gone mainstream, but the British Library still keeps an eye out for signs of moral turpitude in borrowers

By Sam Leith   October 2010

Porn has come a long way in 50 years or so

I was planning to write about modernism this month, but I was distracted by pornography. I won’t be the first writer to whom this has happened, you may say, but I don’t mean it like that.

The other day I was reading a scholarly history book in the British Library when I stumbled on a mention of Marty Ladwick’s Soho Street Girl, a mucky book from the mid-1950s. Among the many joys of the BL is the fact they’ve got everything, so out of curiosity I called it up.…

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