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Sisters of Salome$
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Toni Bentley

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300090390

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300090390.001.0001

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The Trial

The Trial

Chapter Six The Trial
Sisters of Salome

Toni Bentley

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the story behind the libel suit of Maud Allan and its disastrous impact on her reputation and career. In January 1918, the right-wing weekly broadsheet, the Imperialist, alleged that a German prince had compiled a “Black Book” detailing the depraved and lecherous behavior of 47,000 British men and women. With the threat of exposure and blackmail, the Imperialist theorized, these forty-seven thousand corrupted souls were under complete German influence and were thus responsible for British losses in the trenches. Behind this outrageous story was Noel Pemberton-Billing, the Independent M.P. who ran the Imperialist. It was later suggested that subscribers to the upcoming Maud Allan Salome production were among the degenerate “47,000.” On 8 March, show producer James Grein and Maud sued Pemberton-Billing for obscene and defamatory libel.

Keywords:   Maud Allan, Salome, Imperialist, libel, Noel Pemberton-Billing

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