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Britain's First 'Porn Magazine' Discovered And Goes Up For Auction

Britain's First 'Porn Magazine' Discovered And Goes Up For Auction

No, the far right political group haven't branched out into top shelf supplements - that would be grim - no, in fact experts have found one of the country's first ever porn magazines.

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Title 'Memoirs of the Life of Miss Fanny Hill, The Career of A Woman of Pleasure', this racy number caused quite the story when it was first published back in 1749.

Written by John Cleland, the book was found stashed in an antique cigarette box, and tells the tale of a teenage orphan from Lancashire who travels to London to work as a prostitute.

But with phrases such as 'nethermouth' and 'cloven stamp of female distinction' to describe the vagina and 'sturdy stallion' for the penis, the book was banned soon after it was published.

And now the notorious hardback is to go up for auction where it is expected to fetch up to £60, due to its well-worn condition.

The controversial book was found in a cigarette box. Credit: SWNS
The controversial book was found in a cigarette box. Credit: SWNS
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Even up until the 1960s it was illegal to have a copy, and police seized around 20,000 copies during a raid on a publishers.

Jim Spencer, antiquarian books expert at Hansons Auctioneers, said: "I came across it while I was cataloguing a box of cigarette cards.

"It was one of the most prosecuted and banned books in history, the first English pornographic prose.

"It even contains a 1960s newspaper article about police raids at a firm which had just published thousands of new copies of the book.

"So, clearly, it was still banned in the UK in the 1960s.

The book has since been published as part of the Oxford University Press's World's Classics series. Credit: SWNS
The book has since been published as part of the Oxford University Press's World's Classics series. Credit: SWNS

"It was originally written around 270 years ago while the author was in a debtors' prison.

"They called it the Swinging 60s but clearly erotic literature like this was viewed as too obscene to be seen by the masses half a century ago.

"These days, after the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey, it's probably viewed as rather tame. It demonstrates just how much times have changed."

One steamy extract from the book reads: "He was exceedingly fond of female society, but on such occasion was continually labouring under the delusion that he was only a school boy.

Police once seized 20,000 copies of the book during a raid on a publishers. Credit: SWNS
Police once seized 20,000 copies of the book during a raid on a publishers. Credit: SWNS

"He was delighted when he could find a lady who could prevail on herself to humour this conceit, and if for some imaginary fault the fair one would condescend to feign anger, even to the extent of administering the chastisement generally bestowed on erring school boys, his delight was unbounded, and he would pay the most extravagant sums to those who had the complaisance to submit to this strange humour."

As a result of its lewd contents, the novel's writer was charged with 'corrupting the King's subjects' but escaped punishment after he pleaded poverty.

More than 200 years later it was published as part of the Oxford University Press's World's Classics series and the Penguin Classic series.

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: News, uk news, Interesting

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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