BIRTH CONTROL

In the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, June 18th, 1877: The Queen v. Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant, specially reported.

London, Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant for the Freethought Publishing Company, [1877].

8vo, pp. [2], ii, [3]-324, 8 (advertisements); 2 photographic portraits mounted to preliminary leaves with lithographic signatures; occasional spots; a good copy in publisher’s red cloth gilt; dust-stained with a few marks; front free endpaper inscribed by H. Berger.

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In the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, June 18th, 1877: The Queen v. Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant, specially reported.

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First edition of a trial for obscenity over birth control. Having established the Freethought Publishing Company in January of the same year, the freethinkers Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant in March 1877 reissued Knowlton’s Fruits of Philosophy, a treatise on birth control published in America in 1832.

Though both were found guilty of obscenity, after a trial in which Besant conducted her own defence, the verdict was subsequently quashed on a technicality.

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