The Cloven Hoof: A Study of Contemporary London Vices

[CROFT, Taylor, Pseud.], Rupert CROFT-COOKE. The Cloven Hoof: A Study of Contemporary London Vices.

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[CROFT, Taylor, Pseud.], Rupert CROFT-COOKE. The Cloven Hoof: A Study of Contemporary London Vices. London: Denis Archer, 1932.

8vo., ochre cloth publisher's boards with device in red to upper cover; lettered in red to spine; upper edge red; pp. [iv], 5-176; boards rather darkened and worn to the edges; some sections to outer edge and corners showing through to boards; with some splitting to upper edge of spine; ex Lib, with stamps to upper cover, lower edge, and front prelims; some removed library plates to ffeps, good.
Second impression. A collection of essays on vice and sin, notable mainly in that it talks about subjects incredibly taboo for the period. Though the author's opinions are frequently distasteful at best, it remains an interesting text purely in terms of the wide range of forbidden subjects covered. From homosexuality to alcohol to sado-masochism, Taylor has opinions on them all, usually with an air of malign forbearance. Hidden amongst this, however, are fragments of queer culture (and even some occultism) which it was fashionable at the time to ignore, ironically making this book valuable solely for a reason the author would have hated.
Taylor was the interwar pen-name of the novelist and travel writer Rupert Croft-Cooke. He wrote over thirty novels, and thirty works of non-Fiction on such diverse subjects as Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas, Kipling, Buffalo Bill, Victorian writers, the circus, criminals, religion, gypsies, wine and cookery.
A surprisingly scarce work.

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