By Gavin Weightman
Stead’s audacious scoop was once telegraphed around the globe and greeted with applause via ethical purity campaigners and disgust and disbelief via so much rival newspapers. What turned often called the tale of the £5 virgin — the cost Stead claimed that were paid for the woman he known as Lily — used to be a sensation, one of many maximum scandals of the Victorian period. Stead appeared it because the top of his journalistic success A century after his dying within the massive catastrophe he's nonetheless hailed as a pioneer of investigative journalism.
But was once the tale Stead instructed a “put up task” because the playwright George Bernard Shaw judged it? With meticulous detective paintings, Gavin Weightman has pieced jointly what quite occurred. In doing so he finds in a wealthy narrative the reality approximately vice in Victorian London, a fact very diversified from that conjured up within the salacious mind's eye of W. T. Stead. on the center of the tale is an blameless Cockney woman who not just survived a distressing ordeal yet who discovered immortality because the version for Eliza Doolittle in Shaw’s witty references to the £5 virgin in his most well-liked play Pygmalion.