The recent posthumous publication of the late Jacob Rees-Mogg’s tribute to the greats of the Victorian era offered a number of surprises for avid followers of the top hatted time traveller’s career. Some were surprised that the book was published at all once the specifics of Rees-Mogg’s untimely passing during an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident last month were revealed. That he had been pleasuring himself to images of the great 1845 South Grove orphanage fire saw many speculate that this book would never see the light of day.
Many had been expecting that the former Member for North East Somerset would have penned a trite and clearly politically charged paean to the Victorian period. That he would have written a heavy handed, if eloquent, mythologisation of this controversial period of British history. What a refreshing surprise then to discover that rather than a tribute to the “tremendous energy” and “moral purpose” that is attributed to the ruling class of the period what we have is a dozen stories of debased and squalid sexual extremity. A 120 Days of Sodom, perhaps that should be Eton, for the modern day.
Rees-Mogg explores with erotic fervour, and in electrifying detail, the moral turpitudes of the day. One can almost hear the joyful gasps of the Honourable Member as he luridly and lasciviously describes the disposable nature of children used as sexual toys by the wealthy. His excitement is contagious as he describes the orgiastic writhing of the limbs of Empire across the world. But his writing reaches its greatest heights when he is discussing the depredations of the poor forced into workhouses and prostitution across the land. Rees-Mogg’s prose swells to transcendental heights as he elucidates upon the role that the corpses of the plebeians must play in raising Britain to true greatness.
This book is wonder and a great gift to the world, an erotically honest tribute to the paedophilia, abuse, starvation, and murder that allowed us to build an empire upon which the sun never set. It is a fitting tribute to an exemplary parliamentarian the likes of whom we will likely never see again but whose jaunty laugh we will surely hear in the weeping of food bank queues across this fair and sceptred isle.
R.I.P. Jacob Rees Mogg.