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The Cannibal Club

The Cannibal Club was a Victorian gentlemen's club of iconoclasts who came together to discuss, create and collect erotica as well as to talk about controversial issues like censorship, homosexuality, women's rights and atheism. Founded in 1863, members included Sir Richard Burton, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Richard Monckton Milnes, Charles Bradlaugh, Simeon Solomon, Thomas Bendyshe, James Campbell Reddie, George Augustus Sala Edward Sellon and Fredrick Hankey.
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Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1861, | Swinburne was born April 5th 1837. Happy birthday to L'Enfant terrible of Victorian poetry!


Pre Raphaelite Art: January 2009

I think the Cannibal Club would agree. lol


Cannibal - iFunny :)

Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Fanny Cornforth and William Michael Rossetti at Cheyne Walk. 1863.


Tres Elegant

The ever iconoclastic Sir Richard Burton wrote of the Cannibal Club: “We did not tremble at the idea of ‘acquiring an unhappy notoriety’. We wanted to have the truth and the whole truth, as each man sees it. We intended to make room for every form of thought, the orthodox and heterodox; the subversive and conservative; the retrograde equally with the progressive.”


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SIMEON SOLOMON (1840-1905), English painter and Cannibal Club member. In 1873, Solomon was arrested for buggery with a man in a public toilet. The scandal that followed ruined Solomon’s career and reputation.


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"Burton's tomb fittingly reflects his life. It is built of stone but shaped like a Bedouin tent, though this common description is not entirely accurate. The tomb is actually modelled on a tent that Burton had made for his travels with his wife Isabel to Syria. Apparently it's most important attribute was that Burton could stand upright when inside. The tomb is located in Mortlake, South West London, and both Burton and Isabel now rest there."


Travelfire: 3 Melancholy London Sights

The first athiest MP; Charles Bradlaugh - MP for Northampton. In 1877 he was arrested and prosecuted for distributing pamphlets to educate working class women about birth control called The Private Companion of Young Married Couples. Atheist, feminist, unionist, Cannibal. I love this guy!


Charles Bradlaugh

Simeon Solomon - Bacchus, 1867. Many of Solomon's depictions of handsome young men were criticized for their blatant androgyny.



Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism by Deborah Lutz. Lutz explores two groups that formed themselves around strong personalities: the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood gathered around poet-painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and the Cannibal Club founded by explorer Burton. These groups, she argues, created an opening for today’s more sexually tolerant society, especially in terms of acceptance of homosexuality.


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Simeon Solomon, ‘Self-Portrait’ 1859. Unfortunately, Solomon lived to see his name and work fall into obscurity after his arrest for sodomy. He ended his life in 1905 from complications from alcoholism, in extreme poverty at a workhouse in the infamous East End slum of St. Giles. When a cousin tried to take the ailing Solomon from the dismal place witty to the last, Solomon replied, “Thank you, but I like it here, it’s so central”


'Self-Portrait', Simeon Solomon | Tate