Fanny and Stella: The Cross-Dressing Scandal of Victorian England


Fredrick Park (left) and Earnest Boulton (Fanny and Stella), 1869. Glass plate photograph held by Essex Record Office / Public Domain

In April of 1870, a shocking court case captivated Victorian England: Fanny and Stella, also known as Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton, were arrested after attending a play at The Strand (in what was then considered inappropriate dress) and held on suspicion of violating the moral codes of the time. Listen in to learn more about the absurd legal war England waged against these two twenty-somethings, and the consequences of this ill-informed crusade.