Sexuality and Culture

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 37–60 | Cite as

Who wrote my secret life? An evaluation of possibilities and a tentative suggestion

  • Vern L. Bullough


My Secret Life is an invaluable source of information on sexual activity in the last part of the 19th century. It tells about prices of prostitutes, homosexual encounters, age of consent, and other similar information not available anywhere else. Scholars have long sought to identify the anonymous author. Gershon Legman, who wrote the introduction to the latest reprinting of My Secret Life, identified the author as Henry Spencer Ashbee, but most who have studied the manuscript do not accept this identification. The problem then is to find someone else. This paper examines various candidates, one of whom seems more likely than the others. No final solution is offered but it is hoped that, by laying out the facts, additional data will surface, which will better enable us to identify the author of not only the longest sexual autobiography in English history but probably the longest autobiography ever published.


Birth Date British Museum Death Date Typographical Error Anonymous Author 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vern L. Bullough
    • 1
  1. 1.Westlake Village

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