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Orange St, West End, London WC2H 7EP, UK

William Lazenby (died c. 1888) was an English publisher of pornography active in the 1870s and 1880s. He used the aliases Duncan Cameron and Thomas Judd. His notable publications include magazines The Pearl, which published poems thought to have been written by Algernon Charles Swinburne,[1][2][3] The Oyster,[4] The Boudoir[4][5] and The Cremorne[6][7][8] He also published such books as The Romance of Lust,[9][10][11] Randiana, or Excitable Tales,[12][13] The Birchen Bouquet (1881),[14] The Romance of Chastisement (1883),[15] The Pleasures of Cruelty (1886) and The Sins of the Cities of the Plain.[16][17]

Two hundred and fifty copies of Sins of the Cities of the Plain were privately published in 1881 by William Lazenby, who had offices in Blue Cross Street, in London’s Leicester Square (Blue Cross Street is now Orange Street, the sections between Whitcomb Street and St. Martin's Street). Peter Mendes suggests that it was a collaborative work by the publisher of erotica James Campbell Reddie and the painter Simeon Solomon, who, disgraced after his conviction for sex with a man in a Marylebone public toilet in 1873, was in desperate need of money. The story takes the form of the memoirs of a young male prostitute, Jack Saul, who is paid to set down his experiences by a client, Mr Cambon of Cornwall Mansions, Baker Street — the address of a pornographer friend of Lazenby, William Potter. A male prostitute by the same name featured in the Cleveland Street male brothel sandal of 1889-90, and Fanny and Stella, whom Solomon had met during their trial, also appear in the text. Pisanus Fraxi — the scatological alias of Henry Spencer Ashbee, father of C.R. Ashbee — noted that 'they would almost appear to have been sketched from personal acquaintance'.

Lazenby was an associate of Edward Avery and Leonard Smithers.[18] He was prosecuted in 1871 and again in 1881. After the Post Office (Protection) Act 1884, Lazenby together with other publishers such as Edward Avery, Charles Carrington, and Harry Sidney Nichols, moved much of their business to Paris to sell in the United Kingdom by mail order.[19]


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