Mighty Lewd Books

As the erotic novel appears to be experiencing a renaissance Julie Peakman reflects on 18th-century appetites for pornography.

L’Escole des Filles, 1668. The French edition of a book in which an experienced older woman describes sexual practices to an innocent young maid.
L’Escole des Filles, 1668. The French edition of a book in which an experienced older woman describes sexual practices to an innocent young maid.

In April 1688 pornographers Joseph Streater and Benjamin Crayle were brought to trial and prosecuted for ‘selling several obscene and lascivious books’. The men were charged and bound over at the Guildhall court sessions and fined 40 shillings and 20 shillings respectively.

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