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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:
Chapter Six The Trial
Source:
Sisters of Salome
Author(s):

Toni Bentley

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300090390.003.0007

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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