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Books on Erotica

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By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors by Mark Twain 1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors

An atypical piece of writing by Mark Twain, the short bawdy skit documents a conversion between Queen Elizabeth and several notable writers of the time, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Beaumont, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare. Despite first being published in 1880, the piece remained anonymous for a period of time, until it was later acknowledged by Twain in 1901 as his own. Comprised of humor, descriptive imagery, ribald connotations, and vulgar language, the faux conversation is simultaneously humorous and repulsing, but nonetheless a wonder for its satirical precision...

By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Erotica Romana by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Erotica Romana

Also known as the "Roman Elegies," Erotica Romana is von Goethe's literary tribute to human sexuality and eroticism. Written in 24 elegies to emulate classical Roman elegy writers such as Tibullus, Propertius, and Catullus, von Goethe creates a lyrical work of art that has often been subject to censorship.

By: Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811)

Book cover Michael Kohlhaas (English Translation)

Michael Kohlhaas is an 1811 novella by Heinrich von Kleist, based on a 16th-century story of Hans Kohlhase. Both the theme (a fanatical quest for justice) and the style (existentialist detachment posing as a chronicle) are surprisingly modern. They resonated with other writers more than a century after it was written. Kafka devoted one of only two public appearances in his whole life to reading passages from Michael Kohlhaas. Kafka said that he "could not even think of" this work "without being moved to tears and enthusiasm."

By: Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

This is the first of five volumes. – Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex...

By: Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch Venus in Furs

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 Supersensual Man.This manuscript tells of a man, Severin von Kusiemski, so infatuated with a woman, Wanda von Dunajew, that he requests to be treated as her slave, and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. At...

By: Kate Percival

The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware by Kate Percival The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware

This surprisingly explicit sample of Victorian erotica follows the sexual awakening and subsequent adventures of its author, Kate Percival, the "belle of the Delaware." Content warning: this one is definitely NC-17 rated.


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