Adelle ‘high class smut peddler’ Stripe has put together a collection of literary erotica to be published by Harper Perennial on Valentine’s Day. The titles are: Venus in Furs (Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch), Fanny Hill (John Cleland), My Secret Life (Walter), The Autobiography of a Flea (Anon), Justine (Marquis de Sade), The Way of A Man with a Maid (Anon), Venus in India (Charles Devereux), The Pearl (Various), Emmanuelle (Emmanuelle Arsan), and Sadopaideia (Anon).
The collection is reviewed by Margaret Reynolds in The Times:
“…From Fanny Hill to Justine and on, erotic literature is always a marathon of repetition. There is the anticipation. There is the act. Then there’s a slightly different proposition. And the act. And then another. No arrival, no consolation, no relief. It is all ‘getting and spending’ and, yes, it is in ‘a waste of shame’. But that insistent repetition goes on beyond the individual text because erotic literature also consumes itself. …It’s rather like the moment in Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses when Valmont is delighted to discover that his sexual quarry, the Presidente de Tourvel, is reading Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa at bedtime. He knows then that she is ripe for his wicked designs. Emmanuelle (1959) by Emmanuelle Arsan (actually Marayat Rollet-Andriane and her husband Louis Jacques) is as well versed in literary erotica as its eponymous heroine is in the varied practices of love. Quotations from other well-known saucy books from Ovid, to Pierre Louys’s Chansons de Bilitis appear as epigraphs to chapters with titles such as ‘The Flying Unicorn’ and ‘Cavatina, or the Love of Bee’. Forget all the indifferent films, this one is still a delicious read. …”