Before there were moving pictures to show people taking off their clothes, there was always the real thing.


As part of the deal which ended up with the head of John the Baptist on a platter, King Herod Antipas acceded to his niece Salome’s request that she should dance for his birthday. The shedding of veils was perhaps the first recorded striptease. In Strauss’ opera Salome, the well-known score for this scene is played for about seven minutes and is accompanied by an erotic dance which often ends in stark nudity. It has inspired countless strip shows in many much seedier venues since.

Celebrity brothel owner

Well-known Elizabethan luvvies, theatre owner Philip Henslowe and the most highly acclaimed actor of the day Edward Alleyn became brothers-in-law and business partners. They were apparently also renowned as brothel owners.