How far can the lady go without unsexing herself? Billy Noon V the ‘irrepressible’ Mrs Noon

I have written previously on a boxer arrested on more than one occasion for punching his female companion in the face. Unlike Jem Haines, Billy Noon not only got away with doing the same, he was paid and cheered for it too. Billy and Mrs Noon were a husband and wife boxing act, one of… Read More How far can the lady go without unsexing herself? Billy Noon V the ‘irrepressible’ Mrs Noon

“252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

The whole point of my research project is to focus on wrestling in the 1880s and early 1890s. 1902-ish onward has been ‘done’, hasn’t it? Early Edwardian performers (Hackenschmidt, Gotch et al), born quarter of a century after Jack Wannop, were well photographed, documented, and if a written wrestling history exists without them it’s a… Read More “252 Pound English Girl Seeks Fame on the Mat!” Introducing the Graeco-Roman Goddess, Miss Juno May (Part I)

“Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”

Last week I read Andrew Horrall’s excellent Popular Culture in London c. 1890-1910 (Manchester University Press, 2001), and in Chapter 10, Boxing, he explores the introduction of sport to the music hall stage. In the two decades prior to WWI, boxing was transformed from “brutal, semi-legal origins to middle-class respectability” writes Horrall and during the… Read More “Uncompromisingly bad men decisively bested in the final scene by unimpeachably good heroes”