It was with great interest that I read this article in the Daily Telegraph:
Basically, what this so-called historian has done is to twist the facts to fit her violently anti-British Empire agenda. Desperate to ‘prove’ that Victorian Britain saw the wide-spread persecution and, indeed, execution of homosexuals, Dr Wolf conflated the punishment meted out to child rapists to that given to consenting homosexual men:
Dr Sweet told The Telegraph: “Dr Wolf has misrepresented the experiences of victims of child abuse and violent sexual assault. This is the most profound offence against her discipline, as well as the memories of real people on the historical record.”
In the book Dr Wolf tells of a William Mepham, writing that he was indicted for buggery and sentenced to two years hard labour. She fails to record however that the victim was a child. A contemporary newspaper report of the Mepham case, published on Feb 29 1860 and available in The British Newspaper Archive, reported that: “William Mepham, 43, carman, was indicted for committing a heinous offence upon a boy named Peter Paskerell.”
Dr Wolf also writes of another case: “Sentencing became more aggressive: John Spencer, a sixty-year-old man, was tried three times, accused of ‘buggery’ with three different men.”
However, she does not mention that according to contemporary newspaper accounts from 1860, held in the British Newspaper Archive records, Spencer was a 60-year-old Hackney schoolmaster and that his three alleged victims were in fact not adult men, but schoolchildren, named Reuben Brascher, Leon Moresco and Wiliam Roberts.
Moresco was aged 12 at the time of Spencer’s trial, and would have been aged 10 or 11 at the time of the offence. Roberts was aged 13 at the time of the trial. Brascher’s age was not recorded in the newspaper accounts, but the only Reuben Brascher in the census of 1861 would have been aged 12.
In a third example Dr Wolf writes: “Sentences handed down at the Old Bailey for ‘the attempt’ at sodomy started to extend in length, from one year to eighteen months. And teenagers were now convicted more often: indeed, that year, 14-year-old Thomas Silver was ‘indicted’ for ‘an unnatural offence’.”
Silver was indeed found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years with hard labour, but Dr Wolf fails to report that his victim was a six-year-old boy called Amar Smith, not a consenting adult.
So why, we are left to wonder, did Dr Wolf feel the feel to twist the facts? What point was she (very clumsily and dishonestly) attempting to make by such chicanery? Well, the unfortunate reality is that too many so-called historians appear to approach a subject with an agenda, and then try to fit the pieces together to support their cause.
This has long been obvious in the way in which the Boer War has been written about by certain so-called historians, who – like Dr Wolf – appear to be determined to paint Victorian-era Britain as some sort of irredeemably wicked, war-crazed, fascistic, Totalitarian state.
This is why we are regularly fed utter tripe about Kruger ‘never gazing across his borders’, and about how the poor old, innocent Boers ‘only wished to be left alone’. It is why Kruger’s invasions and annexations of British territory – which started the war – have been farcically re-invented as ‘defensive in nature’, and it is also why a blind eye is happily turned to the pre-war Empire-building aspirations of the Boers, the Secret Conferences of 1887, the Bogus Conspiracy, and the regular mass-murder of non-whites by the Bitter-Einders. And it is why these so-called academics churn out self-pitying bullshit about Britain fielding an army ‘more than half a million strong’, and why we are always told they were outfought by a ‘handful of Boers’.
As the rather embarrassing case of Dr Wolf proves, one should never forget that the study of history is becoming increasingly politicised, or that many academics have an agenda, and often an axe to grind. One should always keep an open mind, and not blindly accept their utterances as true; as was proven in the case of Dr Wolf, and, with regard to the Apartheid-era myths which still surround the Boer War, as I proved in ‘Kruger’s War’.