Thursday, March 11, 2010

Days of Debauchery - Nights of Seduction!

While researching erotica, I ran across some very interesting reading material. Some of these books I've heard of before, others I hadn't, but you can bet I'm going to explore them thoroughly now. Most were written in the 17th and 18th centuries, and a few are more modern.

Hope I've piqued your interest enough to have you look them up.

Happy Reading, Keta
Keta's Keep

1) The Delta of Venus, Anais Ninn

In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hat maker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

2) Beatrice by that well-known author Anonymous

A Victorian erotic novel which relates the extraordinary confidences of a young woman of intense sensuality and sensitivity. In her own vivid prose she tells the story of her education in the pleasures of the flesh.

3) The Story of O, Anne Desclos

An erotic novel published in 1954 about dominance and submission by French author Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage. Desclos did not reveal herself to be the author until four years before her death, 40 years after the initial publication of the book. Desclos said that she had written the novel as a series of love letters to her lover Jean Paulhan.

 4) Fanny Hill, John Cleland

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, known as Fanny Hill, is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published in England in 1748. Written while the author was in debtor’s prison in London, it is considered the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel. One of the most prosecuted and banned books in history it has become a synonym for obscenity.

5) Venus in Furs, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

The framing story concerns a man who dreams of speaking to Venus about love while she wears furs. The unnamed narrator tells his dreams to a friend, Severin, who tells him how to break him of his fascination with cruel women by reading a manuscript, Memoirs of a Suprasensual Man.

6) Lady Chatterly's Lover, D. H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed in Florence, Italy; it could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960. A private edition was issued by Inky Stephensen's Mandrake Press in 1929. The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical relationship between a working-class man and an aristocratic woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of (at the time) unprintable words.

7) Justine, Marquis de Sade

In 1801 Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the arrest of the anonymous author of Justine and Juliette. Sade was arrested at his publisher's office and imprisoned without trial; first in the Sainte-Pélagie prison and, following allegations that he had tried to seduce young fellow prisoners there, in the harsh fortress of Bicêtre.

8) Story of the Eye, Georges Bataille

A novella written by Georges Bataille and published in 1928 that details the increasingly bizarre sexual perversions of a pair of teenage lovers. It is narrated by the young man looking back on his exploits. It takes its title from an eye which the narrator extracts from the socket of one of his victims, and which is then used as a sexual fetish.

9) Gamiani, reportedly by Alfred de Musset

Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess is a French erotic novel first published in 1833. Its authorship is anonymous, but it is believed to have been written by Alfred de Musset and the lesbian eponymous heroine a portrait of his lover, George Sand. It became a best seller among nineteenth century erotic literature.

10) The Debauched Hospodor, Guillaume Apollinaire

The Debauched Hospodar is the tale of Prince Vibescu, Romanian decadent, who travels 'round with Culculine and Alexine, indulging in many adventures, each more impossible than the last, and includes any number of impossible scenes, like one with a Chinese boy that foreshadows Naked Lunch.

11) She-Devils, Pierre Louys

A mother and her three daughters sharing their inexhaustible sexual favors between the same young man, each other, and anyone else who enters their web of depravity. From a chance encounter on the stairway with a voluptuous young girl, the narrator is drawn to become the plaything of four rapacious females, experiencing them all in various combinations of increasingly wild debauchery, until they one day vanish as mysteriously as they had appeared.

Described by Susan Sontang as one of the few works of the erotic imagination to deserve true literary status, The She Devils remains Pierre Lous' most intense, claustrophobic work; a study of sexual obsession and monomania unsurpassed in its depictions of carnal excess, unbridled lust and limitless perversity.

12) Under the Hill, Aubrey Beardsley's

To mark the centenary of Aubrey Beardsley's death in 1898, the Cypher Press issued this limited-edition volume containing of all of Beardsley’s mature published writings, reunited for the first time ever with all the relevant illustrations, together with the lion’s share of his “juvenilia” which, though sometimes lacking the intensity of his later work, is never without charm, and sometimes has real interest.

13) Teleny, reportedly by Oscar Wilde

Teleny, or, The Reverse of the Medal, is a pornographic novel, first published in London in 1893. The authorship of the work is unknown. There is a general consensus that it was an ensemble effort, but it has often been attributed to Oscar Wilde though there is no reliable evidence to support this theory. Set in fin-de-siècle Paris, its concerns are the magnetic attraction and passionate though ultimately tragic affair between a young Frenchman named Camille de Grieux and the Hungarian pianist René Teleny.

The novel is significant as one of the earliest pieces of English-language pornography to explicitly and near-exclusively concern homosexuality (following The Sins of the Cities of the Plain, published in 1881); as well as for a lush and literate, though variable prose style - and a relative complexity and depth of character and plot development - that give it as much in common with the Aesthetic fiction of the period as with its typical pornography.

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Mary Quast said...

Ok.... once I dried my screen off from licking that first photo.... *whew*
I'm amazed with your selection and how far back this genre goes. I think I'll check out some of those! Happy TT

Anonymous said...

That first photo got me too. I was stuck there for quite a while. Okay you caught me, I saved the picture to my computer so I can stare whenever I want. I didn't know that erotic romance went back that far. I will have to check some of these titles out. Happy Thursday!

Inez Kelley said...

James Joyce's erotic letters to his wife are steamy as well!

Ella Drake said...

I can not read The Story of O. Way too depressing for me. But I did read Lady Chatterly's Lover when I was way too young to do so.
Great list!

I am Harriet said...

Oh wow! Wonderful aversion to the normal 13 list :)

Have a great Thursday!

Paige Tyler said...

Interesting list!


My TT is at

Alice Audrey said...

The only one I've read is Lady Chatterley's Lover, and it was disappointingly boring.

Mine is here.

Jeanne St. James said...

I had a hard, hard time moving past that first picture. Holy smokes...

Savanna Kougar said...

Yep, I read Lady Chatterley's lover, and at the time it was fairly risque. Of course, not in these times.
Truth to tell, I much prefer erotic romance and not so much erotica, unless it's a story that particularly appeals to me.
I could never get into the the whole Marquis de Sade thing... way back when... when it was popular.
However, the history of erotica is utterly fascinating.

Crystal Kauffman said...

This is a great list of intriguing reading. I love the historical stuff and this will come in handy as research for my own future historicals.

jehara said...

I haven't read any of these, but I have read Little Birds by Anais Nin.

Keta Diablo said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by. See what happens when I'm supposed to be writing? I'm surfing for pic of decadent men and historical smut.

Shush ... don't tell my publishers.

Have a great weekend!


Amanda Leigh said...

It also took me a little while to get past the first photo to see what the post was about.
Love the sound of some of these! I'm going to have to look into some of them.