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Week 15- Erotica and Pornography

Primary text: (read as much or as little as you like, to inform discussion of the question below)

  • The school of venus, or, The Ladies Delight, Reduced into Rules of Practice (1680), in Mudge (ed.), When Flesh Becomes Word: An Anthology of Early Eighteenth-Century Libertine Literature, pp. 1-58 (download it here, and ignore the page numbers at the bottom), also available on google books (scanned copy of original, with index that you may find interesting)

Secondary text (which we will be discussing in detail- come prepared with an opinion on this)

  • Manuela Mourão, 'The representation of Female Desire in early modern pornographic texts', Signs 24.3 (Spring 1999), pp. 573-602- available online via JSTOR

Presentation and Question: What were the aims of the author of School of Venus?

Other primary texts:

  • The Whore's Rhetorick, Calculated to the Meridian of London, and conformed to the rules of art (1683)- EEBO via webcat
  • The Cabinet of Venus Unlocked, and her secrets laid open. Being a translation... [of] Latin Authors never before in English (1658)- EEBO via webcat
  • The Present State of Betty-Land (1684)- EEBO via webcat
  • The Dialogues of Luisa Sigea (ebook for £2.83)

Further Reading:

Julie Peakman, Mighty Lewd Books The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth-Century England (2012)

James Grantham Turner. Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685 (2002)

Toulalan, Sarah, Imagining sex : pornography and bodies in seventeenth-century England (2007)

Jennifer L. Airey, The Politics of Rape: Sexual Atrocity, Propaganda Wars, and the Restoration Stage (2012)- preview on google books

Melissa Mowry, "Dressing Up and Dressing Down: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Seventeenth-Century English Textile Industry," Journal of Women's History 11, 3 (1999)

Sharon Achinstein, "Women on Top in the Pamphlet Literature of the English Revolution," Women's Studies 24 (1994): pp. 131-63

Susan Wiseman, "'Adam the Father of All Flesh,' Porno-Political Rhetoric and Political Theory In and After the English Civil War," Prose Studies 14, 3 (1991): pp. 134-57

James Grantham Turner, "'The Whores Rhetorick': Narrative, Pornography, and the Origins of the Novel," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (1995)

Archer, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Gowing, Women Words and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996)


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