The Dilly: A History of Piccadilly Rent Boys Cover Image

The Dilly: A History of Piccadilly Rent Boys (Paperback)



A previously undocumented slice of London's underground sexual history, and its influence upon artists from Oscar Wilde to Francis Bacon and the Stones to Morrissey

Piccadilly Circus has long been London's principal location for selling sex and this is the first book to really explore the history of male prostitution at "The Dilly." Dating from Oscar Wilde's notorious use of the location for pick-ups through to Francis Bacon's equal attraction to rough trade and right up to recent history, this is a pioneering piece of counterculture history. Employing a flair for acute visual imagery, the author maps out Soho's submerged gay clubs and drinking-rooms in the decades before de-criminalization. This is followed by the new masculinity advocated by the Mod look in the 1960s, the influence of the place on rock and pop stars such as the Stones, Marc Almond, and Morrissey (all of whom themed songs on the subject) and the book closes in the 1990s, when online male escorts replaced rent boys on the Piccadilly railing. An exhilaratingly colorful recreation of the illegal occupation of one of London'’s central commercial zones by lawless Dilly boys, this history is augmented by first-hand interviews with rent boys who worked the meat-rack in the 1970s as well as a chapter recording the author's personal friendship with the artist Francis Bacon.

About the Author

Jeremy Reed is the author of more than two dozen books of poetry, 12 novels, and volumes of literary and music criticism. He is a winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the National Poetry Prize, and the Poetry Society's European Translation Award.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780720615890
ISBN-10: 0720615895
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Pages: 330
Language: English