The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey (Hardback)
  • The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey (Hardback)
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The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 01/04/2021
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'A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of the Baillie Gifford prize-winning The Five 'Brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing' Mail on Sunday 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Imaginative and compelling, impassioned and powerful, and deeply, deeply moving' Matt Houlbrook, author of Prince of Tricksters and Queer London Lydia Harvey was meant to disappear. She was young and working class; she'd walked the streets, worked in brothels, and had no money of her own. In 1910, politicians, pimps, policemen and moral reformers saw her as just one of many 'girls who disappeared'. But when she took the stand to give testimony at the trial of her traffickers, she ensured she'd never be forgotten. Historian Julia Laite traces Lydia's extraordinary life from her home in New Zealand to the streets of Buenos Aires and safe houses of London. She also reveals the lives of international traffickers Antonio Carvelli and his mysterious wife Marie, the policemen who tracked them down, the journalists who stoked the scandal, and Eilidh MacDougall, who made it her life's mission to help women who'd been abused and disbelieved. Together, they tell an immersive story of crime, travel and sexual exploitation, of lives long overlooked and forgotten by history, and of a world transforming into the 20th century.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788164429
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 575 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 38 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of the great storytellers of her generation, Julia Laite provides a lens through which we can view the practices and experiences of sex trafficking in the early twentieth century. Along the way, Laite nudges us to think about the ethics of telling another person's story. Riveting, powerfully argued and emotionally moving. -- Joanna Bourke * Fear: A Cultural History *
A careful, empathetic reconstruction of the early-20th-century vice trade, placing the victims at the heart of the narrative and returning their dignity to them. This is a moving and compelling work of great scholarship. -- Sarah Wise, author * The Blackest Streets *
A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing. Julia Laite explores the sordid world of crime, sex and international policing in 1910 by focusing on the individuals caught up in an elaborate web of exploitation. Readers who loved The Five will find this story and its skilful telling equally as enthralling. -- Hallie Rubenhold, author * The Five *
Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Working out from one trial at London's Old Bailey, Laite provides a vivid account of a globalising world at the start of the twentieth century. Imaginative and compelling, impassioned and powerful, and deeply, deeply moving, this book is also a signal example of the contemporary political stakes of writing about the past -- Matt Houlbrook, author * Queer London *
Demonstrates how, with determination, sensitivity and a careful dose of imagination, extraordinary recoveries are possible ... Laite has taken her slim archival trace and immeasurably enriched it; she has reclaimed a woman's life and restored a more complex reality to the record. -- Sarah Watling * Guardian *
With an inventive mix of sources, Laite brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing, but as the author says, it's a story being repeated daily for today's victims of traffickers. * Mail on Sunday *

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