Saturday, July 30, 2016
The gas was on in the Institute
John Betjeman's poem A Shropshire Lad intriguingly footnotes the phrase 'The gas was on in the Institute' with the quotation 'The Institute was radiant with gas', attributed to Boyhood by the Rev E.E. Bradford, D.D. It seems Bradford (1860-1944) was a notable figure in the late Victorian gay scene, and was friends with the Samuel Elsworth Cottam who edited the magazine Chameleon which turns up in the trial of Oscar Wilde.