Hi! Could you please read, summarize, and take detailed notes on the three research articles attached? Also, please suggest ideas for a thesis. I will be writing a 2,500-word research paper on Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland. To put it bluntly, it is an 18th-century pornographic novel. I am still considering a thesis, and I hope these articles may help. I’m broadly considering the way in which this book addresses and represents consent. There is substantial literature on this topic already, so I’d like to expand upon previous works and ask the following: What do the representations of desire suggest about the audience? In other words, who is this book for?
Hi! Could you please read, summarize, and take detailed notes on three research articles for me? Also, please suggest ideas for a thesis. I will be writing a 2,500-word research paper on Fanny Hill: M
897 ELH 82 (2015) 897–935 © 2015 by The Johns Hopkins University Press MAKING PORNOGRAPHY, 1749–1968: THE HISTORY OF THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN HEART bY KATH lEEN lUbEY but what shall I do to get to speak to her? If cold unanimated Writing could banish her Indifference, sure the Eloquence of W ords, l ips, Eyes, Prayers, Vows, warm Embraces, and short breathed Sighs, must melt her into Compliance. Oh the nameless transporting extasy; thus to fold her to my warm b osom, to see her panting, blushing, sighing, dying! the very Thought transports me beyond mortal Imagination. —The History of the Human Heart, 1749 b ut what shall I do to get to speak to her? If cold inanimate writing could banish her indifference, surely the eloquence of words, lips, eyes, warm embraces, and short-breathed sighs, must melt her into compliance. Oh, the nameless ecstacy—thus to press her to my heart; t�o see her blushing, panting, sighing, dying! b y heaven, the very thought transports me beyond imagination. —Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, 1844 b ut what shall I do to get to speak to her? If cold inanimate writing could banish her indifference, surely the eloquence of words, lips, eyes, warm embraces, and short-breathed sighs, must melt her into compliance. —Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, 1968 My three epigraphs provide a micro-example of the transformation of pornographic narrative across more than two centuries. Originally narrating an amalgam of physical desire, imaginative fantasy, and affective transport, this single passage is pruned to focus on the hoped-for sex act with increasing efficiency. All three versions agree on the essentials of titillation: sighs, lips, a woman’s surrender. b ut the material surrounding the imagined physical union changes, and attention to the mind’s role in sexual desire is whittled out. In 1749, 898 the ejaculative, hyperbolic, syntactically fluid passage shows the her�o’s fantasy to heighten his longing. The erotic wish is trimmed and gram- matically tidied in 1844, when an editor finds it more suitable for the male protagonist to “press . . . to [his] heart” his beloved than �to “fold her to [his] warm b osom”—presumably too emasculating a term for the male body—and eliminates the “Prayers, Vows” that would pronounce the spiritual degree of his supplication. b y 1968, the passage is halved. It ends with the beloved’s compliance, doing away with the source text’s attention to the power of imagination, to the “transport” that succeeds from purely mental action. b y the later twentieth century, pornographic narrative economically focuses on eroticized bodies, masculine prowess, and consummated sex acts, a rather far cry from the eighteenth-century text’s equal reliance on the mind to complete the erotic scene. This essay documents the formal and thematic contraction of pornographic narrative over the two centuries that saw its coher – ence as a genre. Drawing on archival work with four editions of the virtually unknown, anonymously authored novel The History of the Human Heart, I demonstrate that a narrative focus on sex acts was purposefully imposed by later editors on an eighteenth-century source text that refused to treat sex as a singular or privileged subjec�t matter. History’s rich, complicated, and long textual history makes it an ideal—perhaps the only—case study in which we can ascertain the reading and editing practices that transformed pornographic texts from hybrid to specialized, reflecting the wider coalescence of � the genre into its modern forms. Containing a complex introduction, numerous lengthy footnotes, and a sexual picaresque narrative, the 1749 History is textually and thematically heterogeneous, and self- consciously so. Narrative descriptions of sex acts constitute a central � but not exclusive focal point of the text, and they do not always aim to arouse erotic feeling. In the hands of nineteenth- and twentieth- century editors, History’s heterogeneity was systematically pared back to more consistently deliver genital action. l isa Sigel has documented a related narrowing of pornographic style across this period, showing that the “fluidity” and “versatility” of eighteenth-century sexual diction, which connected the body to religion, beauty, and humor, ossified into a language of dirt and pollution by the late Victorian period. 1 I find this linguistic contraction to parallel an increasing sexual focus imposed by nineteenth- and twentieth-century producers of pornography on narrative itself. They focus the text more and more narrowly on sex acts� as such, and they modernize History’s eighteenth-century references Making Pornography, 1749–1968 899 and stylistics in order to situate narrative descriptions of sex acts wi�thin a world perceived as proximate and concrete by later readers. This contemporariness was achieved by suppressing eighteenth-century sexuality’s convergences with science, religion, sentiment, and gender. Introduction and footnotes were curtailed or deleted, Italianate names Anglicized, sentimental dialogue reduced, and title changed to Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure—the better, no doubt, to capitalize on John Cleland’s pornographic brand. History’s plot, which remains unchanged through 1968, traces the history of Camillo, a Shropshire boy born to a wealthy family, from conception to marriage, wending its way through the sexual discoveries of adolescence and the bawdy mischief of his grand tour through l o ndon and Holland, during which he seduces women, attends masquerades, patronizes brothels, feigns betrothals, and performs the part of agonized lover until he is tricked into a surprise marriage to the b elgian Angelina, who, having already succumbed to Camillo’s “repeated searches” of her body, boldly pursues him from Amsterdam to l ondon. 2 Framing the main narrative are an introduction and footnotes that elaborate its scientific, cultural, and philosophical assumptions�. Their effect is both probing and comic, layering the main narrative’s sometimes explicit, sometimes allusive descriptions of genital acts with sober reflection and expansive significance. Alternately lusty prose�, scientific treatise, and personal history, the text features and describes sex acts, but it also does much more. It leads the reader away from local sexual episodes into the discursive nether regions of the footnote�s, displaying a confidence that the reader will be attentive and amused as the text meanders. History acquaints us with a miscellaneous model of reading less familiar than the purposeful, libidinal consumption we typically asso- ciate with pornography. History figures its readers as highly tolerant of, indeed pleased by multiple registers of meaning unfolding at once. It demands a variety of attitudes in readers, inviting both “absorpti�ve or intensive reading” and “more desultory modes of consumption”� that, as Simon Dickie argues, coexisted in eighteenth-century reading practices. 3 While the text invites a sustained interest in Camillo as adventurer and lover, it repeatedly disrupts readers’ singular focus on him, deflecting their attentions variously to the predicaments of seduced women, the speculations of the footnotes, and the hero’s own sentimental reflections. History seems most comfortably at home in the mid-century subgenre Dickie calls the “male-centered ramble novel” in which the “obligatory romance plot” stands as an orga�nizing Kathleen lubey 900 principle to various hijinks—fraud, whoring, gambling, drinking, and � fighting. 4 Its readers would not have expected a Clelandesque concen- tration of narrated sex acts, nor would physical pleasure have been their premeditated aim in reading about a hero’s sexual adventures. l ike the pre-revolutionary French context studied by Robert Darnton, where philosophical and political concerns suffused sexually explicit narrative, eighteenth-century English readers would not have thought about sexual arousal as an exclusive outcome of reading. The notion of a “‘pure’ pornography” would not have been thinkable in a� climate of pronounced textual hybridity. 5 In the English context, as we see in History, this hybridity comprised the disparate practices of comic prose fiction, where readers’ attentions were invited to meander in� unpredictable directions, making associations—at times absurdly—with scientific, religious, and philosophical discourses. These paths would� not have taxed their patience or compromised the occasional erotic response. In fact, History shows how extra-sexual material was inflated to comic proportions, exemplifying a point of origin for pornography in which authors and readers refuse to attribute earnest or singular meaning to sex acts—a perhaps less coherent project than the socio- political meaning l ynn Hunt finds in early pornography , and predating the utilitarian economy of later pornography, where sexual action is concentrated into the genre’s primary focus. 6 b y calling History pornography, I’m suggesting a definition of the genre as temperamentally inconsistent, discursively hybrid, and intermittently erotic. Pornography is not as prescriptive as we have imagined it to be, at least in its early forms; nor do we always find �it contained within individual, transgressive texts, an argument I’ve ma�de at length in a recent book. 7 Defining pornography prior to the genre’s establishment is complicated, of course; but Darnton reminds us that even though pornography as such “did not exist in the eighteenth century . . . one should not relativize the concept out of existence.” 8 It remains a useful analytic for observing the historically contingent ways in which representations of sex acts create meaning in art and literature. The uncommon spin I am putting on the concept is the possibility that pornography isn’t consistently erotic—that it does not contain an unwavering imperative to arousal. Pornography is, more inclusively, a mode of inquiry that takes for granted the relevance of sex acts to other fields of experience and knowledge; and within pornography, narrative descriptions of sex acts constitute a method for engaging or lampooning those other fields. These dialogic exchanges do� not necessitate readers’ arousal. l ike sexuality as we have understood Making Pornography, 1749–1968 901 it since Foucault, sex acts in History constitute a fluid and highly adaptable field of experience that shapes the hero’s and reader’s perceptions of their world. Early pornography, in my view, does not privilege “sexual stimulation” over other perceptive possibilities� within this field; it insists, in fact, on the coexistence of multiple respon�ses at once, drawing on humor, intellectual debate, and cultural critique to emphasize the associative function of sex acts in narrative. 9 In this multitasking model of reading—embraced too by writers like Haywood, Fielding, and Sterne—we can see pornography as an integration, rather� than a separation, of sex acts with a wide array of cultural concerns. History provides reason to question the critical practice of identi- fying early pornography as a set of distinct and insulated techniques fo�r describing sex acts. Julie Peakman’s rich account of the field of erotic writing in the period yet narrowly identifies “pornographic strands�” in which writers develop particular techniques aimed at sexually gratifying� readers, suggesting these are separable from a text’s references to other modes of experience. 10 Karen Harvey even more radically differenti- ates pornography, finding its directness and transparency of descrip- tion to dampen readers’ imaginative faculties. She defines “erot�ica” against pornography, arguing the former’s techniques of metaphor and distancing engage creativity and criticism in readers in a way referenti�al genital descriptions cannot. 11 History suggests Harvey’s distinction is a false one. Readers are expected to shuttle between different registers of literary representation and sexual understanding, and to exercise flexibility of humor and intellect as they do so. History advances a historical view of pornography as a disorganized and unplanned field of overlap between narrated sexual experience and countless other discourses sexuality engages. The text blithely leaves these threads open and unresolved, inviting readers to explore them without a particular endpoint being privileged over any other. Restoring a wider view of early pornography allows us to see the transformation of the genre from a hybrid to a specialized narrative practice, a perspective that remains invisible when we overvalue sexual content as its defining feature. Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure has, albeit richly and productively, contributed to this blind spot. It offers a narrative that confirms our distinctly modern � understanding of pornography as a concentration of sexual description designed to arouse the reader and has therefore seemed the “notable exception,” appearing to stand alone as a fully pornographic English � work until the later eighteenth century. 12 When we look from Cleland, to the well-conceived doctrines of pleasure contrived by Sade, to the Kathleen lubey 902 unceasing sexual efficiency of My Secret Life, pornography can seem to have originated in texts with a unified and unwavering focus on sex acts. b ut as the publication history of History shows, pornographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw what literary critics have not: that there is more than one way to look for early pornography, and that it does not always, or even usually, present itself as an organized, efficient succession of narrative descriptions of sex acts. 13 Editors found in History a repository of material that could be re-crafted as they incrementally invented the modern pornographic function of arousing readers with sexual description. From this perspective, we can see pornography as the purposeful construction of a condensed sexual narrative from a markedly less focused source. Sex became History’s overvalued content for later pornographers, concentrated and elevated in a way the eighteenth-century original does not anticipate. Our work as critics should avoid replicating this overvaluation; we should not seek to curate a collection of sexually explicit works in our� attempt to know pornography’s history, but instead look for the ways in which texts tell us what sex acts meant, what kinds of ideas they introduced, and what other subjects and discourses were necessary to justify their recurrence. These myriad associations were subdued as modern pornographic narrative was made. I. PORNOGRAPHY IN 1749: THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN HEART The History of the Human Heart was published in 1749 in london by J. Freeman, publisher of many anonymous texts promising intrigue and topicality to the mid-century reader (Figure 1). 14 It is exactly contemporary with Cleland’s Memoirs but is less relentless in its genital focus. b ecause it so richly explores sexuality’s social and philosophical aspects, it is truly surprising that History has garnered so little critical attention in the decades since pornography, vis-á-vis Cleland’s novel, was established as part of the eighteenth-century canon. History has appeared on the radar of the field, reprinted in 1974 in the Garland series The Flowering of the Novel as well as in The Eighteenth Century microfilm collection, but it is noted only briefly in a few studies of eighteenth-century sexual culture. 15 As we shall see below, during the eighteenth century History was categorized with texts we wouldn’t now consider pornographic, and by the next century, it occupied a definitive position in the lineage of texts being assembled by publishers, sellers,� and collectors of pornography. Making Pornography, 1749–1968 903 Figure 1. Title page, The History of the Human Heart, 1749. Singer-Mendenhall Col- lection, Rare book and Manuscript library, University of Pennsylvania. Kathleen lubey 904 History’s introduction immediately discredits the text’s integrity and establishes its comic spirit. The author’s lineage, we learn, is a kind of pastiche: he is born in Wales to a father of Scottish Highland descent and a “Lancashire Witch” mother whose maternal line extended to Ireland (H, 2). Using his sometimes reliable “Second Sight” (H, 3), the author practices fortune telling, comes under the mentorship of a “Rosicrucian Philosopher” (H, 6), and inherits his talisman, which delivers Camillo’s story to the author. It is Camillo’s history that constitutes the main text. b efore publication, the author edits the manuscript with the input of his landlady and appends voluminous footnotes “moral, historical, and critical” contributed by a “w�orthy” gentleman-friend of the landlady (H, 11). The result is the printed text we encounter. The introduction labors to establish that the main text is not to be taken terribly seriously. 16 The story arrives through a dubious medium, the notes are arbitrarily appended, and the author edits the manu- script based on his landlady’s level of boredom, cutting until she can “hear it out without once yawning” (H, 11). b efore the narrative even begins, History resists the familiar pornographic paradigm. Sexually excitable reading is not posited as a focused or singular enterprise. It is, rather, highly mediated: readers are not positioned to read sex earnestly or transparently, but rather to be part of an extended joke, a comic experiment that episodically offers sexual description. Nor is reading about sex envisioned as a private activity tantamount to mastur – bation, an association Thomas l aqueur and Michael McKeon see to be intensifying during the eighteenth century; it is instead figured a�s synchronic exchange among author, landlady, and editor, more closely resembling Harvey’s account of sociable erotic reading. 17 b ecause of their collective impact on the narrative, the text is positioned as liter – ally disintegrated, shaped by a motley crew of amateurs and arousing various curiosities among them. In the main narrative, Camillo’s sexual development is not portrayed as a linear, uninterrupted process. Rather, his sexual discoveries constitute an adaptable medium through which his world can be experienced—genitally, yes, but just as often sensibly, affectively, and cognitively. Sexual encounters lead to thinking and speculating, for hero and reader alike. At times, his sexual actions are altogether unwitting, as in his childhood. Readers observe the development of his appetites as he suckles his mother’s breast; in the nursery, where he parses the bawdy jokes of nurses; in the family orchard, where he traumatically discovers his sister’s “great Wound” as she climbs up a Making Pornography, 1749–1968 905 cherry tree; in his first, circuitous sexual experiments with his cous�in Maria, for which both are punished by his parents (H, 31). In all of these early experiences, sex and its bodily effects arrive unannounced to Camillo as points of unsettling confusion. Narrative descriptions of � sex acts are something of a constant in the plot, but their return is no�t confidently or evenly signaled to the reader, even as Camillo’s desires become more conscious and plotted during his grand tour. Camillo’s own thoughts reveal uncertainty: until later in the narrative, he is rarely sure how to succeed at courtship and at times appears as flummoxed by the trappings of seduction as are his women partners. He often seeks guidance from his tutor Vilario, whose instructions aim at gratifying Camillo’s desires above all else. While the plot is largely structured by Camillo’s sexual pursuits, the narrator attends commodiously to the thinking, planning, and frustration of those pursuits, unlike Cleland’�s Fanny Hill, who “slip[s] over matters of no importance” between se�xual encounters. 18 In these spaces between sexual events, the text explores other topics: domestic life, education, and psychological development. The footnotes move even further afield of a direct discussion of sexuality. Of the fifteen that are dispersed across the narrative, six describe biological and anatomical concerns, such as fertilization, pregnancy, lust, and the hymen; five weigh in on cultural questions, such as friendship between the sexes and women’s education; and four use empiricist epistemology to explain how the mind responds to instances of heightened stimulation. The footnotes impinge on the main narrative. On the page, they reduce Camillo’s history to one or two lines of printed type, and they sometimes run for pages. Thematically, they challenge the easy path to sexual meaning we find in the main narrative. Rhetorically, they are pedantic, and purpose- fully so, for we are to hear the farcically learned voice as humorously � discordant with the main text. They boast specialized language, as we see in the first footnote, which explains fertilization: “This Doct�rine [of insemination by the male] was more controverted, and less understood, till the ingenious Mr. Leewenhoeck, by his microscopal observations, discovered the Animalculae in the Semen Humanum, which has put the Question beyond all Controversy” (H, 15)—and this is just a way of introducing the larger question of when the soul animates the fetus, � which the editor concludes must be when it is yet “in the l oins of the Parent” (H, 16). He also occasionally calls on the English historical tradition to provide evidence for his claims. He warns women of the impressionability of the fetus, for example, by recalling courtier David� Rizzio’s murder, a spectacle witnessed by James I’s mother during Kathleen lubey 906 her pregnancy that, he insists, affected the temperament of the king. Scientifically, historically, and rhetorically, the footnotes move away from the personal history being narrated above them.The comic effect is therefore no quick, slapstick punctuation of the main text’s sexual focus; it is comedy hard-won, where readers meander into detailed, lengthy elaborations that tediously debate quick assumptions of the narrator. Further, the authoritative voice lends itself to a skeptical reaction in the reader. The editor espouses modern reproductive knowledge that emphasizes sexual difference between men and women, but he at times sounds antiquated in his beliefs, such as his concern over the fetus’s impressionability. The reader is thus called upon periodically to assess the editor’s competence—no easy task in an era that, according to Tim Hitchcock, saw the uneven development of an elite medical discourse on reproduction that stood quite apart from an ongoing popular belief in the old humoral model of the body. 19 History might be seen, in fact, to stage the concurrence of these different registers of sexual understanding. Rather than impart authoritative knowledge, this discussion exercises the flexible attent�ions of a reader willing to follow narrative paths away from an erotic plot, and to gauge their relevance and accuracy. The text’s reprinters in the next century, as we’ll see, will find them increasingly bothersome and will delete them without ceremony. In this cumulative model of pornography, myriad speculations of natural philosophy combine with and branch outward from sexual description, but do not remain tethered to arousal as an inevitable endpoint to reading. History indeed offers scenes that conform to pornography more traditionally defined, but even these lend them- selves, in 1749, to philosophical elaboration. One such scene involves a performance by posture girls attended by Camillo and his friends during a “Town Ramble” in l ondon (H, 122). Camillo is “greatly surprised” (H, 124) at the postures they strike and marvels that they yet blush even though “so many Men fix their Eyes on that Part which all other Women chuse to hide” (H, 125–26). The performance indeed centers on the spectacular display of their genitals: [T]he parts of the celebrated Posture Girl, had something about them which attracted his attention more than any thing he had either felt or seen. The Throne of l ove was thickly covered with jet-black Hair, at least a Quarter of a Yard long, which she artfully spread asunder, to display the Entrance into the Magic Grotto. The uncommon Figure of this bushy Spot, afforded a very odd sort of Amusement to Camillo, which was more heightened by the rest of the Ceremony which these Making Pornography, 1749–1968 907 Wantons went through. They each filled a Glass of Wine, and laying themselves in an extended Posture placed their Glasses on the Mount of Venus, every Man in Company drinking off the b umper, as it stood on that tempting Protuberance, while the Wenches were not wanting in their lascivious Motions, to heighten the Diversion. Then they went thro’ the several Postures and Tricks made use of to raise debilitated l ust. (H, 127–28) being the initiate to this bawdy ritual, Camillo “shoot[s] the bridge, and pass[es] under the warm Cataracts”—presumably, positions himself in some way under or between the women’s legs—to the amusement of the company (H, 128). 20 The posture girls then masturbate in unison: “Having resumed a proper Posture, with wanton Fingers they entered the mysterious Cave, and heaved, and thrust, and riggled, till they opened the teeming Springs, which shot their volatile l iquids into a Wine Glass, each held in the other Hand—— b ut here the Reader will hardly believe me, though I assure him on the Credit of my Talisman, that what the Glasses received, was mingled with their Wine, and drank off without the least Shock to the Nature of any one present, except Camillo” (H, 128–29). Despite repeated requests, the girls refuse “the Embraces of the Men, for fear of spoiling their Trade” (H, 129), and so prostitutes are called. Camillo manages to entertain two of them simultaneously, and thus concludes the novel’s most paradigmatically pornographic episode: it focuses on erotic bodies, masculine pleasure, performative, non-reproductive, and non-domestic sexuality. The scene does not serve a singularly titillating purpose in 1749. It in� fact leads to speculations we might call feminist. The editor interrupts� the main narrative with a footnote that raises abstract and speculative � concerns emerging from a detail in the main narrative (Figure 2). It questions a passing remark made by the author that the posture girls possess a natural modesty that causes them to blush. The editor rejects modesty as a natural feminine attribute, defining the concept instead � as a long-standing cultural invention. The author assumes, mistakenly in the editor’s view, that modesty is a natural Property of the Soul, and [that] the uneasy Emotions which Women sometimes feel . . . on hearing any Conversation on their Secret parts, or the Act of Generation, is the effect of some innate Principle � natural to the Sex. I have all the Value in the World for Modesty, but I cannot agree to this Notion of its Original. It is certainly the greatest Ornament of the Sex, but for all that, it is no more than a meer Habit, � founded on Convenience, and nourished by Custom. (H, 124) Kathleen lubey 908 Figure 2. Footnote in The History of the Human Heart, 1749. Singer-Mendenhall Collection, Rare book and Manuscript library , University of Pennsylvania. The editor provides evidence that modesty is not instinctual—genital � display is practiced by both infants and Indians, he points out—and infers that there are artificial motivations behind the strict codes t�hat are imposed on English women. but these motivations are laudable for the editor , who goes on to imagine a culture without modesty in which the sexes encounter each other naked. If women’s genitals were exposed, men’s “Organs of Sense” (H, 126) would respond accordingly, “prevent[ing] the Growth of Dissimulation in Female Discourse” (H, 126)—preventing, that is, women’s ability to pretend they are not desired by men. Were everyone nude, women would have to acknowledge men’s erections, rituals of politeness would be desublimated, and a level playing field would be established in which everyone would be aware of everyone else’s genital situation. The editor recognizes such a world as impossibly disordered. “The first� Moralists, foreseeing these Inconveniences, feigned a supposititious Making Pornography, 1749–1968 909 Virtue, which they called Modesty, and recommended it to the Fair Sex; this answers all the Purposes of a real Passion, and keeps that Sex� within l imits they would be naturally prone enough to leap over, if not guarded by this imaginary Fence” (H, 126). 21 Modesty is instrumental, he concludes; it is a system that maintains the social order. The editor praises this scheme as one that empowers women to determine their social identity and urges parents and educators to impart it as early as possible to female children. Parsed closely, this passage also offers the fleeting insight that women are “naturally prone enough to leap ove�r” impediments to gender equality: modesty is not natural, but liberty is. The footnote departs from the main narrative in many ways. It distracts from the descriptions of sex acts unfolding above it on the pa�ge; it strikes a speculative tone that contrasts with the sequential account� of Camillo’s experience; and it isolates what would seem a minor point—“natural” is a passing adjective—and bloats it into a �concept available for deep questioning. Within this questioning, elements of the pornographic topos—genitals and women—are reconfigured and defamiliarized, becoming objects not of erotic but of social interest. The suggestiveness of the editor’s insights into sexual inequality may or may not be perceived by the eighteenth-century reader, and there is no way to tell how this discussion would affect the reader’s response to the narrative description of sexual performance taking place in the main text. Are readers disgusted by the spectacle? Aroused? Curious? Did readers bother reading the footnote? If they did, did they read carefully, skeptically, dimly, impatiently? Did they detect the feminist implications of the editor’s observations? The text is unconcerned with stabilizing these questions, but one fundamental premise is clear: in History, reading about sex is a process of awareness and reflection that exceeds erotic response and that is conducive to associations beyond specifically erotic contexts, leading even, as in this case, to� ethical discoveries that might complicate the pleasure of beholding nude women. As this episode and its footnote make clear, the author of History expects readers to balance multiple demands simultaneously as they move through and around this text. Readers and writers seem to have no anxiety about the frequency of erotic episodes, and the pleasures of � reading appear to reside precisely in the multitasking that is required for a full understanding of sexual meaning and the intellectual possibilities that proliferate from it. At this rich moment in pornography’s history, when texts addressing sexual matters were not entirely differentiated from other forms of literature or thought to be at odds with sociable Kathleen lubey 910 behavior, and long before a distinct market for pornography existed, narrative descriptions of sex acts served as vehicles for discussions of� perception, science, morality, and culture that unfold instead of—or in competition with, or in service of, or parallel to—erotic satisfac�tion. There were multiple pleasurable outcomes to reading pornography, and these outcomes did not uniformly serve the body. II. THE HISTOR Y OF THE HUMAN HEAR T IN THE ARCHIVE The british library’ s copy tells us that in its own time, History was not considered particularly objectionable reading material. It was part � of a textual category loosely organized around matters of love and seduction, and its daring level of detail reflects a literary marketpl�ace “relatively unfettered,” in Harvey’s words, by legal prohibitions on obscenity. 22 This copy also shows us that contingencies of acquisition and shelfmarking directly affect what is visible to historians and bibli- ographers researching sexual literature. Our methods of identifying pornographic texts rely too heavily on library cataloguing practices that tend to neaten texts into categories rather than reflect the wide�r, messier history of pornography, especially in periods prior to its coherence as a genre in the nineteenth century. A single duodecimo binding, shelfmark Cup.702.t.14, holds The History of the Human Heart together with another sexually charged narrative, The Progress of Nature, or the Adventures of Roger Lovejoy, published in 1744 by T. Wiltshire. History, the longer text, appears first, followed by the 95-page Progress, rendering the latter all but invisible in the archive. It is beyond the scope of this essay to give a detailed account of Progress, but like History, it centers on the erotic discoveries of young characters, male and female, and connects those discoveries to the development of taste and temperament. 23 The physical details of the book show that in their own time, these narratives were classified with texts we’d now consider courtship t�rea- tises and amatory fiction. An early owner had History and Progress bound together with such works and titled the volume “Pamphlets and Poems Gallant,” as the spine now reads. The other works were at some point removed from the current binding or perhaps were held in a second volume that eventually was separated from its companion volume. Cup.702.t.14 contains a manuscript table of contents that no longer reflects what it holds: Making Pornography, 1749–1968 911 1. The History of the human heart 1749 2. The Progress of Nature 3. The Misteries of l ove reveal’d 4. The Mercenary l over The Padlock. Novels. This list appears on paper that matches in age and wear the printed eighteenth-century pages, suggesting that relatively early in their lives, these texts were collected together based on their amatory themes. It is likely that the four texts, published between 1728 and 1749, were bound by the owner named in the bookplate affixed to the inner cover—Charles Hope-Weir of Craigiehall (1710–91), Scottish aristocrat, Parliamentarian, and urbane man of fashion. Hope-Weir came into his estate through his first marriage to Catherine Weir in 1733, but it is likely during his second, spanning 1745 to 1757, that this collection wa�s bound together. This marriage to Anne Vane, great-granddaughter of Charles II, botanist, and possible translator of l inneaus, ended after she birthed a child, which Parliament decreed was not Charles’s, during his extended travels on the continent. 24 Either Charles or Anne—both were well read—saw continuity across these “gallant” works, works we would variously classify today as pornography, amatory fiction, picaresque narratives, seduction manuals, and marriage treatises. 25 l iterature detailing sex acts had a home among other, more allusive discussions of sexual and domestic life. Mysteries of Love Reveal’d, published about a decade before History, instructs men and women readers on matters of courtship and gallantry, following the premise that personal happiness can be achieved if romantic love is prioritized. Sex is gestured toward only implicitly. Toward the close of the treatise, the unnamed author urges women readers to understand he means for love to be consummated: “I would not be here thought to recommend Platonick l ove; for the most virtuous Woman may, and indeed ought, to partake of the reciprocal Sweets of the mutual Enjoyment which Nature has allotted, and God himself commanded. Increase and multiply is the End of Creation; and in order to induce People to marry, Providence has decreed the most inexpressible Pleasures to be enjoy’d in the Act of Generation.” 26 Sex, while not detailed, is celebrated as the inevitable endpoint to courtship and the sustenance of a happy marriage. The Mercenary Lover and The Padlock thematically bear out this logic, dramatizing the elaborate machinations of male suitors to win the affections of their beloved. Honorius Severius, the hero of The Padlock, goes so far as to rescue Violante from a tyrannical marriage, receiving dispensation from the Kathleen lubey 912 Pope to obtain her divorce and marry her himself. 27 For the eighteenth- century collector, the focus on love, passion, and courtship was the most significant commonality among these texts, and the discussion of sex acts themselves in the first two entries did not disqualify the�m from a grouping with narratives that defer sex acts so that questions of desire and conduct can be explored. At some point, a later distinction between pornography and “soft- core” sexual narrative came to bear on this particular collection. Th�e current binding no longer contains The Mercenary Lover and The Padlock or Mysteries of Love Reveal’d. These other two texts now appear in the b ritish l ibrary’s general catalogue with shelfmarks that make no reference to their sexual content. 28 At some point after Hope-Weir’s ownership, History and Progress were designated as qualitatively different from the other titles. The rebinding, though, preserves important aspects of their eighteenth-century character. The later owner kept the handwritten table of contents, for example, and preserved the provenance of the more sexually focused texts, pasting Hope-Weir’s bookplate onto the endpages of the second binding. The rebinding also reuses the original cover from the eighteenth century; the spine still announces the “gallant” nature of the book’s insides, and the cover is of plain brown calf, a style that predated the more ornate � bindings of the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 29 These details confirm what the wider history of History’s reprinting will tell us: in 1749 and thereabouts, a pattern of graphic sexual description in a work of prose fiction did not categorically distinguish that work� from a wider body of literature concerning intimate life, nor was such a work expected to deliver primarily genital detail. l ike amatory fiction and courtship treatises, such a work developed multiple discursive strands that were seen as non-competing in the eighteenth-century context. We can also deduce that later collectors had two purposes in collecting eighteenth-century pornography: on the one hand, to emphasize its antiquarian character, and on the other, to separate the works into a new category—pornography as such—based on their narrative descriptions of sex acts. If later collectors recognized History’s pronounced sexual content, how has that content come to be overlooked by modern scholars? Several contingencies have obscured the text. First, it occupies an inconspicuous position in the pornography archive. History has never been held in the b ritish l ibrary’s Private Case, the archive around which historians tend to orient their research. Established in 1857 for � accessions that were thought to warrant restricted reader access, the Making Pornography, 1749–1968 913 Private Case still holds much of the library’s sexually explicit mate- rials, and bibliographers and scholars regularly look to this collection� to delimit the field of early pornography . 30 Its holdings have been considered comprehensive at least since Victorian book collector Henry Spencer Ashbee worked from the Private Case to compile his three- volume bibliography of erotic literature (1877–1885), a resource th�at remains important for historians today. 31 Patrick Kearney’s The Private Case (1981) was the first annotated bibliography specifically detailin�g the collection, providing a new kind of access to this archive. This important work drew its own set of boundaries, since it only covers those works held in the Private Case at the time of its publication; it does not catalogue those titles that were declassified at some prio�r point, nor does it cover newer acquisitions that concern sex but were not thought scandalous enough to warrant P.C. shelfmarks. 32 In other words, bibliography cannot account for the contingent ways in which the pornographic archive is continuously reconstituted. 33 The 1749 History of the Human Heart has been overlooked for the simple reason that it was never restricted to the Private Case, instead receiving the less restrictive “Cup.” shelfmark. This desi�gna- tion, ranging from the smutty to the sociological, has not been as widely recognized by scholars as a classification for texts relevant t�o a history of pornography as such, an oversight that has prevented us from detecting the possibility of a pornography dispersed across texts that serve functions other than frequent explicit sexual description. 34 The reason History was not assigned a P.C. shelfmark seems to result from a second contingency: its acquisition date. The b ritish l ibrary’s catalogue notes associate the holding with a large bequest made by Ashbee in 1900, but a gold stamp on the rear endpage suggests a more likely acquisition date—“ bl 1982”—when the restrictive P.C. shelfmark was being less commonly assigned. Changing definitions of obscenity, it seems, continually shape the archive itself—how it grows and contracts, how it does or does not receive additions. Had History been acquired earlier, a P.C. shelfmark would likely have earmarked it as an important text in pornography’s history. 35 A third contingency involves the oversights and biases of bibliog- raphy. The most thorough bibliographic account of History appears in the third volume of Ashbee’s bibliography, but it does not provide a description of the first edition. It contains mistakes and omissions� that indicate Ashbee never saw the 1749 text. First, he misdates it at 1769, an error he probably inherited from fellow bibliographer James Campbell Reddie, from whose manuscript notes he copied the Kathleen lubey 914 entry on the first edition of History. 36 Neither ever saw the current b ritish l ibrary binding, since Progress does not appear in Ashbee’s bibliography. b oth bibliographers were meticulous—Reddie would compare multiple copies of the same work line by line, and Ashbee records detailed variations across copies and editions—and had either� examined this binding, they would have found Progress lurking behind History, and so would have recorded it as part of the erotic archive ultimately documented by Ashbee. 37 Progress thus disappeared from pornography’s history as well as literary history altogether. b ut so did the distinctive heteroglot character of History. Ashbee worked only with nineteenth-century editions of the novel, retitled Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure; or, the Amours, Intrigues, and Adventures of Sir Charles Manly, and containing significant textual changes. Ashbee mistakenly assumed these editions were the original “[r]eprinted with merely the� name changed,” an oversight that has made its way into later biblio- graphic studies that take Ashbee’s account as authoritative. 38 Ashbee’s lack of curiosity to track down the original was perhaps fueled by his annoyance with the novel, even in its updated nineteenth-century form. “The style is poor,” he concludes, “and it cannot be looked upon as a composition of anything but an inferior order.” He found its discur – sive aspects to be cloying and outdated, its introduction “long and irrelevant,” and its footnotes too insignificant to be mentioned at all. 39 Unenchanted by this text, Ashbee gives an incomplete account, erasing from view those attributes that may have motivated other readers and researchers to study the eighteenth-century edition. Together, the shifting practices of shelfmarking, censorship, and bibliography have screened History from scrutiny, rendering a remark- ably messy, complex, and irreverent text into a shadowy holding in the archive, a sexually unfocused text that, at least to Ashbee, does not warrant the close attention of a reader interested in pornography. Ashbee was unaware that William Dugdale, its nineteenth-century publisher, edited with a heavy hand. Much that makes History of the Human Heart a distinctively eighteenth-century text was deliberately altered, streamlining the novel to suit the more singularly sexual tastes of the nineteenth-century market. III. MEMOIRS OF A MAN OF PLEASURE , 1827–1844: THE DUGDA l E EDITIONS In the nineteenth century, English pornographic publication resiliently, if evasively, thrived in l ondon, and by century’s close was Making Pornography, 1749–1968 915 flourishing in the continental print market, where the English trade was driven by tightening obscenity restrictions. Available to English readers were texts of varying cost, length, and genre that were decidedl�y focused on arousing the sexual curiosity of readers, and a great deal of� enterprising went into creating a supply. 40 William Dugdale, a central figure in this industry, tirelessly published and sold pornography from the 1820s through his death in 1868, operating in Holywell Street, the commercial center for the obscene book trade l ynda Nead calls “the single, mythic entity of obscenity” in nineteenth-century l ondon. 41 He commissioned original work from inexpensive sources, including Reddie who provided original and translated copy, and shamelessly pirated existing erotic works. His customers included the wealthy and the laboring, and he correspondingly produced texts at a range of prices. His illustrated 1832 edition of Fanny Hill, for example, sold� for three guineas, while individual issues of his weekly The Exquisite, a miscellany of mildly bawdy prose, verse, and illustration, could be had for sixpence in 1844. 42 He was unembarrassed and intrepid in his reliance on existing sources. In a most brazen act of bootlegging, Dugdale reprinted the erotic cantos of l ord b yron’s Don Juan without permission, and he managed to avoid legal consequences by pointing out that, due to their sexual content, the cantos in question were ineligible for protection under copyright. 43 Characteristically, he treated a little-known text like History with editorial abandon. In his hands, History was a malleable source-text that could be repackaged for a range of audiences. Many of the details Ashbee includes in his bibliographical description indicate the differen�t kind of text History had become in the obscene book trade of the early nineteenth century. Dugdale printed two freestanding illustrated editions, the earliest dated 1827, with the new title Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure—no doubt coined for its echoing of the Fanny Hill brand. One of Ashbee’s copies was priced at a half-guinea, indicating a moneyed readership. Across these editions, the phrase “wanton waiting maid” gets added to title pages and dustjackets, referring presumably to one episode in the book and, in any case, promising a desiring woman. None of these editions are extant in library collec- tions. It is likely that the copies Ashbee worked with were his own, that they were part of his bequest to the b ritish l ibrary, and that they were thereafter destroyed. 44 We can glean from Ashbee’s bibliography that questions of historical contingency and textual alterations either did not occur or did not matter to readers, collectors, and publishers in the nineteenth century, Kathleen lubey 916 who instead valued illustration and packaging that highlighted sexual content. Whereas the title page reading The History of the Human Heart; or the Adventures of a Young Gentleman had alluded more diffusely to personal history, masculinity, and intrigue, Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure specifies the tradition of sexual writing associated with Fanny Hill, the particular characters (“Sir Charles Manly,” a “wanton waiting maid”) who will be sexualized, and the illustrations within �the book. Through these decorative means, Dugdale crafted History into the kind of book that appealed to a contemporary English readership. In 1844, he repurposed History again, publishing it serially in The Exquisite (Figure 3). Available cheaply to a new set of readers, and serving as cost-free material for a weekly Dugdale was keen to continue publishing, Memoirs appeared across numbers 120 to 135 in the third and final volume of the magazine, without illustrations. � I take the changes in this edition to reflect many of the changes that� Dugdale had already made in 1827, when, as we know from Ashbee, he had already modernized character names (from Camillo to Charles, Saphira to Emilia, Philotis to Mr. Seymour, and so on). The only edition of the nineteenth-century Memoirs extant to researchers, the serialization reveals the extent of Dugdale’s editing, which updates the prose, reduces the text’s discursive aspects, and accelerates the narrative so that sexual description occurs more frequently. These changes streamline the narrative’s sexual focus and radically decrease its level of irony. More mundane changes include paragraph breaks, standardized capitalization, and modernized quotation marks. Dugdale advertises Memoirs’ sexual content at the outset by attrib- uting it to Sir Charles Sedley, the celebrated libertine and favorite of Charles II—a preposterous attribution, given the narrative’s mid- eighteenth-century style, but one that promises sexual intrigue for the reader prepared to suspend disbelief. This appropriation is one instance of what Sigel identifies in The Exquisite as a “truncation” that simplifies libertinism from a philosophy of pleasure into an emphasis � on the “expectation and availability” of women. 45 Dugdale’s editing of Memoirs bears out the increasing focus on men’s heterosexual plea- sure. Apparently eager to immerse readers in sexual action, Dugdale deletes the introduction (though Ashbee notes it remained in one of the earlier freestanding editions), with all its comic architecture, and eliminates half of the footnotes and shortens four others, retaining tho�se that directly elaborate on sex acts—those describing fertilization, t�he hymen, and the role of the imagination in sexual pleasure. Omitted are those footnotes that unapologetically diverge from the erotic context Making Pornography, 1749–1968 917 Figure 3. Serialization of Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure in The Exquisite, 1844. Mi- crofilm reproduction of b ritish l ibrary’s copy. Kathleen lubey 918 of the main narrative toward more abstract considerations. The note on modesty glossing the posture girl episode is deleted, for example, as is one describing the ideal tutor. In addition to pruning the narrative of material seemingly non-erotic, Dugdale strips it of diction, concepts, and historical references that might be unfamiliar to the reader. Other than implausibly positing Sedley as author, Dugdale wants to rid the narrative of historical and even political specificity. References to monarchical history—women’s modesty in the Elizabethan age, King William’s political ministers at the Hague—are removed (compare H, 150; D, 233). 46 Outdated professions are replaced with their modern equivalents—“Wigmakers” ( H , 70) become “hair-cutters” (D , 144) in 1844—and titles invoking old systems of rank are replaced by more inclusive categories—Camillo’�s tutor is a “worthy Gentleman” (H, 28) in 1749, later an “excellent man” (D, 128). Dugdale also updates scientific language to reflect emerging knowledge of species and adaptation. Discussing animal versus human sexual desire, a footnote is altered to refine its scient�ific diction. Explaining that animals will mate with one another irrespec- tive of beauty, the eighteenth-century author wrote that a male animal “takes Relief from the next kind She that is disposed for his Use”� ( H , 197). Animals are anthropomorphized here, possessing gender and benevolence. Dugdale makes the language more scientific, and decid- edly less sociable: the male “takes relief from the first female of� its own species that is disposed for its use” (D, 198). In the same passage, History’s author described women as possessing “Organs fitly disposed to allay the prevailing appetite” of men (H, 197); Dugdale states they have “organs fitly adapted” to this purpose (D, 198), stabilizing what once sounded arbitrarily happenstance into an evolutionary premise. Some of the editorial changes achieve contemporariness by subduing concepts specific to eighteenth-century culture and aesthetics that might confuse later readers. Such revision is evident in a scene involving Camillo, the Quaker virgin Saphira, and her maid Rebecca (for consistency, I’ll refer to their 1749 names). With Rebecca’s help, Camillo sneaks into Saphira’s darkened bedchamber to finish the seduc – tion he attempted the previous day. Unbeknownst to Camillo, though, Rebecca puts herself in Saphira’s bed and “receive[s] his Fire without flinching” (H , 195). Afterward, he is disgusted to find the less beautiful Rebecca in Saphira’s place. The empiricist terms originally used to explain Camillo’s desire are replaced with less specialized language by Dugdale. In 1749, Camillo, when he discovers Rebecca’s trick, is “stung to the quick, that he had been so lavish of himself on such a Creature, � Making Pornography, 1749–1968 919 whose very Idea chilled his Vigour; (for she had something very forbid- ding in her Countenance, and nothing but Youth to recommend her)” (H, 195). “Idea” denotes a specialized meaning, referring to the vi�sual representation of an object—in this case, Camillo’s perception or memory of Rebecca’s face. In 1844, the sentence is less intellectually taxing: Camillo is “stung to the quick with disappointment, and the thought that he had been so lavish of himself on a creature who had nothing but her youth to recommend her” (D, 197). The hero’s mind is not the mediating force it was in 1749; gone is the language that reminds us of the mental faculties involved in perception and desire. The footnote to this episode, retained but altered in 1844, marvels at the influence exerted by sight and the imagination on a man’s desire: even though Rebecca and Saphira are both genitally equipped to satisfy Camillo, his appreciation for Saphira’s beauty makes him unwilling to knowingly accept the body of a less appealing woman. In 1749, the editor hyperbolically celebrates this human capacity. It is entirely omitted in 1844: “Strange Incantation! that the meer Sound of an Indifferent, should have such Influence upon the human Mechanism, in spite of Experience, and the Demonstration of all his Senses; at least of that Sense, which, as it comprehends all the rest, so is the least liable to be deceived, viz., his Feeling” (H, 196). Referring to a human as a “mechanism,” distinguishing among the various senses, a�nd styling the sentence as an irrepressible philosophical exclamation—al�l of these conventions are characteristic of eighteenth-century sexual and philosophical writing, but seem increasingly dissonant with the more direct path toward sexual description Dugdale is crafting from his source text. Dugdale further pares this footnote of its philosophica�l particularity. The 1749 author attributes Camillo’s disappointment in discovering Rebecca to “the Sense of b eauty or Order hinted at by the Famous Mr. Hutchinson” (H, 197); Dugdale leaves only “sense of beauty” in this clause and deletes the rest—the particular phil�oso- pher, the now-peculiar usage of “order” to explain aesthetic harmony (D, 198). Dugdale systematically eliminates the conceptual nature of sexual desire, particularly by removing the reference to Francis Hutcheson’s association of beauty with moral sense as well as terms that specify desire as a consequence of mental operations. The 1749 author insisted that two simultaneous sensations constitute Camillo’s desire for Saphira: he repeats exactly that it’s due to the “Sense of b eauty or Order” she provokes, which is coincident with “the other � Idea of Desire” associated with her body (H, 197). The concepts of “order” and “idea”—that desire is not a direct expression� of the interior Kathleen lubey 920 mind, but one mediated by a concept—are removed in 1844, where “the sense of beauty . . . constantly recurred as often as the other desire appeared” (D, 198). In this formulation, beauty directly causes desire, and the cognitive processes—that perceive order within beauty, that associate an idea with desire itself—are submerged, presenting, in th�e nineteenth century, sexual attraction as a seamless bodily response to an alluring object. The final major change to this footnote suppresses the 1749 editor’s self-consciousness that he is a fallible thinker, a sentiment expressed in the first-person tone that is common in philosophical texts of the � Enlightenment when writers admit to limited knowledge. Heightening both the pedantic tone and the comic effect of this lengthy elabora- tion—it spans three pages in the original—the editor admits that the moral sense of beauty Hutcheson postulates could be disputed: “I dare� not pretend that the Application answers the Difficulties in the Case,� but its the best Solution I can find for the strange Caprice which Camillo shews on the Discovery of the Deceit” (H, 197). Dugdale deletes this entire sentence, allowing the note to conclude more authoritatively, and much less humorously. In 1749, readers work through these dense and challenging ideas only to arrive at the philosopher’s admission of incomplete knowledge; in 1844, they receive a conceptually simpler explanation of desire in the voice of an omniscient scientist. In sum, Dudgale’s changes do not radically alter the plot of History, but they deliberately suppress the textual and stylistic conventions that mark it as a fiction from an earlier era, rendering a relatively � ahistorical text out of the original. The miscellaneous character of the� earlier fiction is subdued into a narrative more consistently focused �on sex acts, and therefore more closely approaching what we call pornog- raphy in its modern guise. The inflated voice of the philosopher in the footnotes is reduced, as is the comedy produced there; the hero’s cognitive reflection on his own sexual experience is pared back; and the empiricist terminology that wielded explanatory power and irony for the eighteenth-century reader is modernized into a vernacular treatment of the hero’s sexuality. IV. THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN HEART IN 1885: THE ROCHESTER REPRINT SERIES Around 1885—contemporary with Ashbee’s bibliographical entry on History—two l ondon booksellers, Edward Avery and Arthur Reader, collaborated to publish another edition. It appears with its original Making Pornography, 1749–1968 921 title as part of the Rochester Reprint Series, advertised to potential subscribers as “A series of works illustrative of Manners and Customs�, Public and Private life of the 17th and 18th Centuries” (Figure 4).� 47 In four installments, the series placed anonymous works like History alongside editions of Rochester’s poetry and Cleland’s Memoirs of a Coxcomb. Three copies of this History are held at the b ritish l ibrary; one of these was probably Ashbee’s, held in the Private Case until at least the late 1960s before being assigned its current shelfmark, Cup.805.d.3. 48 True to its mission, this printing restores, a bit disingenuously as we’ll see, the antique flair of the original History. The source-text for this edition is the original 1749: here appear the Italianate names, (most of) the introduction, early modern typography such as Germanic capitalization and continuous quotation marks. A facsimile title page names the original publisher and restores the correct date. Reader, an antiquarian bookseller, most likely supplied the 1749 copy-text to Avery, who oversaw printing and publication. Avery, named as book- seller in the endpages, was a successful purveyor of erotic books in late Victorian l ondon and had a loyal and wealthy customer base that included Ashbee, whose bibliography he also sold and who was likely a subscriber to the series. They printed 116 copies of each installment � in the series, which were available in two bindings—both expensive at� £1 16s or £2 2s per volume. 49 The customer for this edition of History was likely a dedicated collector of erotic books, but also one who valued the trappings of antiquity, who would have read the outmoded narrative style as a quaint aberration from the more focused pornog- raphy being written by the late nineteenth century and who would be knowledgeable enough about English literary history to be able to place History among its comic contemporaries—Fanny Hill, Tom Jones, and Tristram Shandy. Avery and Reader, though, determined that their readers’ enthu- siasm for eighteenth-century style would only go so far. b y late in the century, a “formulaic focus on sex acts” characterized print pornography, a development Deana Heath associates with new photographic forms that froze sexual images into static and interchangeable objects. 50 Even Avery and Reader’s seeming antiquarianism succumbs to this new streamlining of narrative. Their History contains no footnotes. The editor figure is carefully removed from the 1885 introduction, and with him any trace that there were footnotes in the copy-text to begin with. The novel reads, in this form, as a mischievous tale of gallant masculinity, focused on the hero’s escapades and unconcerned with Kathleen lubey 922 Figure 4. Title page, History of the Human Heart, c. 1885. Shelfmark PHI e. 130, b odleian l ibraries, University of Oxford. Making Pornography, 1749–1968 923 the philosophical explanations that had accompanied the narrative previously. As Ashbee had very recently complained in his bibliog- raphy, the footnotes—even the abbreviated ones he encountered in the Dugdale editions—too radically distracted a reader seeking sexual� action. Those paratextual outgrowths that had constituted the book’s eighteenth-century humor are seen by 1885 as a nuisance even to readers who fashioned themselves genteel antiquarians. The 1885 edition tells us two things about the making of pornography in Victorian England. First, even when a degree of interest is shown in an erotic text’s historical character, publishers craft as much as possible a more modern, more exclusively sexual focus out of earlier fictions that included sex as part of a comic miscellany. Second, despite this restructuring, booksellers and collectors assembled an erotic canon that included historical texts whose approach to narrating sexuality was� different, less condensed than that of Victorian pornographic novels. As the genre of pornography cohered, so did its historical character. Even as some of their antiquated form was stripped, the eighteenth- century fictions that were preserved by Avery and Reader as part of the long history of pornography still do not entirely conform to the habits of the genre in 1885. Producers and collectors were aware, to a greater degree than modern critics, that the pornographic tradition included these miscellaneous fictions that narrated sex with less focu�s and less certainty than their contemporaries. V.MEMOIRS OF A MAN OF PLEASURE IN 1968: PU lP FICTION In the twentieth century, History made its final appearance in an edition that, further still, removes impediments to the reader’s sexual focus. Packaged as pulp fiction, it differs from earlier editions in i�ts rigid gendering within sexual encounters: the hero is self-possessed, his seductive efforts uninterrupted by the bouts of uncertainty we saw in earlier editions, and his women partners are quieter, flatter, less condemning of his scheming and duplicity. The 1968 Tandem Press paperback published in london and New Y ork is entitled Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, and its cover boasts it is a reprint of a great archival find, “an 18th-century erotic classic, wider in scope than My Secret Life . . . [d]iscovered in the archives of the british Museum—available in the U.S. for the first time!” (Figures 5 and 6). 51 The editor James Graham (a pseudonym probably based on the eighteenth-century quack sexologist, whose lectures are reprinted in the first volume of � The Exquisite) cites an 1844 Dugdale edition as his copy-text: The Exquisite serialization. Kathleen lubey 924 Figure 5. Front cover, Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, 1968. Author’s copy. Making Pornography, 1749–1968 925 Figure 6. back cover, Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, 1968. Author’s copy. Kathleen lubey 926 Graham extends Dugdale’s editing tradition, silently modernizing and abridging the 1844 copy-text to ahistoricize it and, for the first time, to rid it of sentiment. In 1968, the narrative pruning seems even � more intently focused on upholding a powerful masculinity in the sexual context. Feeling, women’s suffering, and men’s abject proclamations of love were deemed irrelevant or even threatening to the reader’s enjoyment, which here begins to look much more exclusively sexual and more aggressively masculinist than it had two hundred years earlier. Graham inherits all of Dugdale’s changes, never working with an earlier copy-text, and creates more paragraph and section breaks to provide a seemingly more rapid reading experience. The abridgements made by Graham have a few patterns. He removes some pseudo-medical discussions that would be viewed as radically outdated by the late twentieth century: a life-threatening episode of hysteria in Camillo’s mother (compare D, 126; G, 12) and a description of his infant appetites that grants him an implausible level of cognition—implausible too in 1749, and funny (compare D, 127; G, 13). A description of the hero’s private education—which favored English history over the classics, morality over the “specula�- tive sciences”—likewise is deemed irrelevant by Graham (compare D, 128; G, 16), as is Saphira’s accusation of heresy when Camillo claims that his life depends on her returning his affections (compare D, 184; G, 113). Graham eliminates historically contingent associations of sex with other topics, such as religion and education, that would be unfamiliar and outdated to the reader of pulp fiction. Most consistently, Graham removes material from seduction scenes that might read as sentimental, feminist, or emasculating. Topics that might distract from a potent masculine heterosexuality are often suppressed, suggesting that the pleasure of pornographic reading by 1968 is not only narrow compared to the miscellaneous pleasures enjoyed by the eighteenth-century reader, but also that it requires a proud and unfailing hero. This hero, so unlike his eighteenth-century forebear, falls short of ever admitting subjection to his beloved. Graham, for example, eliminates the enthusiasms and hyperbole of Camillo’s seduction speech to Charlotta, his first successful conquest; in 1749 and 1844 we read, “Those languid Eyes, that heaving panting b osom, that glowing b lush, all proclaim the God of l ove triumphant: Yield my Dearest to his Dictates and make me happy” (compare H, 105; D, 159). Graham has Camillo’s conquest succeed from the penulti- mate line, an imperative that never admits to the triumph of love: “[ l ]et no childish coyness chill the warm desires that now mutually fire Making Pornography, 1749–1968 927 our breasts” (G, 69). Camillo’s poetic, carpe diem speech to Saphira also disappears (compare D, 184; G, 112), as does his abject pledge to banish himself from Saphira’s sight forever—a sacrifice that would threaten his own life—if she so wishes (compare D, 192; G, 128). It seems the pleasure of the reader in 1968 would be compromised by a pleading and subjected masculinity. In a series of related abridgements, Graham removes speeches by women that boldly lament their vulnerability at the hands of preda- tory men. When Saphira discovers, post-seduction, that Camillo has no plans to marry her, she delivers a searing condemnation of his dishonesty. Graham removes a section in which Saphira comes close to accusing him of rape, calling him a “lustful ravisher” whose “s�oul stands naked before [her], in all its natural baseness and deformity” (D 199; G, 138). The seriousness of this piece of the plot is left undisturbed by Graham—Camillo still faces imprisonment, he fears for Saphira’s well-being, she regrets her indiscretion—but passages that persuasive�ly condemn the hero’s actions on moral or religious grounds, and that underscore the plight of the seduced woman, are removed, relieving the narrative of some of its unflattering commentary on masculine power. The most drastic and stylistically clumsy changes of this nature are made to the final pages of the novel, where Angelina, having been seduced and abandoned by Camillo in Amsterdam, surprises him in the bedchamber of his l ondon mistress who has offered to help reunite them. In the comic register of the original, Angelina is a suit- able partner for the wayward Camillo, matching him in irreverence and spiritedness—after all, she considers herself marriageable even though he has already seduced her. She has traveled alone, cross-dressed en cavalier, and pursued him with loyalty and diligence. Echoing Helena’s pursuit of Willmore in The Rover, their coupling, a familiar means of comic closure to the eighteenth-century reader, promises to be lively, even turbulent. The 1968 edition is profoundly uninterested in this resolution. Most of Angelina’s confrontation of Camillo is deleted by Graham, so in 1968 we do not hear her admonish him, when he renews his pledge of love, to “swear no more! heaven has already witnessed too many of your false oaths; tempt it no more” (D, 248); or that “nothing is left for [her] but endless misery!” (D, 248). In 1968, the exclamation is shorter:: “[Y]ou cannot give me back my happiness, my peace, my lost innocence” (G, 222). More abbreviated still is the hero’s response, which Graham truncates to a vow passionless even in its punctuation: “Oh, my [Angelina]. Take me back and let my tears heal you” (G, Kathleen lubey 928 222–23). In earlier editions, Camillo’s eagerness to reconcile and marry was evident in his emotional response: “[T]he tears started to his ey�es, and running to assist her, he exclaimed— Oh! my [Angelina]! thou dear, lovely injured maid! take me to thy lovely bosom, there let me grow, and with my tears heal the wounds my cruelty has given to thee” ( D , 248). In 1749 and 1844, this proclamation had been a suitably comic conclusion to the hero’s picaresque sexual adventures, and the lovers’ hyperbolic vows at their reunion animated the immediate nuptials that followed. In 1968, the pulp editor seems to view the conclusion as a structural rather than a thematic necessity. The sexual adventures are concluded, and masculine desire is conforming to monogamy; the reader no longer needs passionate dialogue, or even exclamation points. VI. CONC lUSION : PORNOGRAPHY SO-CA llED by 1968, the pornographic text has been made efficient. Discursive elements remain, but they are trimmed and condensed to be deemed relevant to the sexual concerns of the main narrative. Objections to the supremacy of the hero’ s desires are muted; women’s articulations of their social disadvantages are removed; abstract speculations no longer move us afield of the local sexual encounter. The book’s cover may sensationalize the text’s historical character, but Graham worked subtly, as had Dugdale, to tame and normalize his copy-text’s unruly hybridity. While I’ve tried to convey the amalgam that constituted the original text, I have been less concerned to detail the contents of editors’ deletions than to demonstrate the range of topics, reference�s, and usages that were quieted by nineteenth- and twentieth-century editors, who considered them impediments to the erotic pleasure of the reader. A sexually focused narrative must be artificially curated, this history tells us, imposed through a process of selection and suppression at various levels—sentence, language, text, and title. In� the long life of History, we see pornography narrow into a vision of heterosexual male pleasure imposing itself serially on evacuated women; but importantly, we see that this plot was originally conceived in the eighteenth century as a dubious one, impinged upon by contingencies, internally self-questioning, and speculative about its own hypocrisies. � I have emphasized here the way in which gender transforms across this history from a site of confusion and debate into a stricter, stabler heteronormativity. b ut my central point is that so many dynamic, probing, and uncertain associations with sexuality—associations with � religion, science, philosophy, cognition, early feminism—are scrutinized Making Pornography, 1749–1968 929 and subdued as pornography becomes more strictly defined as a purposeful address to readers’ erotic interests.The case study of History shows this change to be underway at some point between the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, aligning it with a broader streamlining of human sexual practice. Henry Abelove has associated these decades with a rise in prominence and practice of “sexual intercourse so-called,” the “particular kin�d of sexual expression” that involved the seminal emission of a penis inside a va�gina and that increasingly often, demographers show, resulted in reproduc- tion. 52 The perceived productivity of this model of sexual activity marks its affinity with capitalism, Abelove suggests, under which labor and leisure become strictly differentiated and “industrial work-discipline” becomes internalized and exhibited in human behaviors increasingly tailored to efficiency. 53 As part of this large-scale transformation of public and private life, cross-sex, genital, penetrative, seminal sex acts ascend in frequency and in cultural value to become understood exclusively as sexual intercourse. Non-reproductive sexual practices were widespread and fluid prior to this historical shift, Abelove spec�u- lates, and only with the rise of industrial capitalism do they become consigned to the status of “foreplay,” of non-essential, “preliminary” precursors to a more central act deemed to be intercourse itself. 54 The transformations of pornography, a textual aspect of the prac- tices of sexuality, reflect the influence of this regimen of productivity. Narrative descriptions of sex acts propel readers toward cross-sex genital union more rapidly after 1749; discursive, speculative strands are deemed superfluous, expendable, even irrelevant by publishers who shorten or delete them. Pornography, we’ve seen, was rendered into an imperative that the reader frequently attend to genital action as a text�’s central purpose. l ike foreplay, non-narrative, non-sequential pieces that originally constituted pornography were redefined as ornaments or even barriers to some more primary spectacle—to those repeated penetra- tive acts we have naturalized as pornography, but that we might now name, following Abelove, pornography so-called. As modern culture became increasingly intolerant of perceived inefficiency, sexual narra- tives concentrated descriptions of sex acts, marginalizing the myriad ways that sexuality previously had entailed critical reflection on diverse aspects of human experience. It is only to our modern perspective that such treatments of sex are digressive, not-quite-pornographic, or soft- core. Taking a longer view of pornography, these speculations reappear as constituent of sex acts, in narrative and in practice. St. John’s University Kathleen lubey 930 NOTES I wish to thank Joseph Drury , Wendy Anne l ee, and l isa Sigel for their generous feedback on earlier drafts of this essay. 1 lisa Sigel, “Name Your Pleasure: The Transformation of Sexual language in Nineteenth-Century b ritish Pornography,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 9 (2000): 399. 2 The History of the Human Heart; or the Adventures of a Young Gentleman ( london, 1749), 280. Hereafter cited parenthetically by page number and abbrevia�ted H. 3 Simon Dickie, Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2011), 271. See also Thomas Keymer on readers’ peaceable synthesis of a wide spectrum� of literary conventions, specifically in Tristram Shandy, in Sterne, The Moderns, and The Novel (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2003), 30–45. 4 Dickie, 253, 255.5 Robert Darnton, Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York: Norton, 1995), 87. 6 lynn Hunt’s landmark collection emphasizes the resistant politics of early pornog- raphy; see The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity (New York: Zone b ooks, 1993). For two very different accounts of the narrative economy of pornography after Sade, see Frances Ferguson, Pornography, the Theory: What Utilitarianism Did to Action (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2004), who emphasizes the “social evaluation” (13) of individual action fac�ilitated by pornography, and Stephen Marcus, The Other Victorians (New York: Norton, 1985), who sees the genre tending toward a “pornotopia” (268) in which the totality �of human experience is reducible to sex acts. 7 Kathleen lubey, Excitable Imaginations: Eroticism and Reading in Britain, 1660–1760 ( l ewisburg: b ucknell Univ. Press, 2012). 8 Darnton, 88.9 “Sexual stimulation” is Peter Wagner’s phrase in Eros Revived: Erotica of the Enlightenment in England and America ( l ondon: Secker and Warburg, 1988), 225. Julie Peakman echoes Wagner in her definition of pornography as “material that contains graphic description of sexual organs and/or action . . . writte�n with the prime intention of sexually exciting the reader” (Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth-Century England [ l ondon: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003], 6). 10 Peakman, 3.11 Karen Harvey, Reading Sex in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004), 20. See also 25–27 for close readings of texts that, Harvey argues, demonstrate the difference between metaphor and referentiality. I find the distinction labored and untenable from a literary-critical standpoint and not releva�nt for eighteenth- century readers who would have encountered these different modes within single texts. 12 Peakman, 6; Wagner shares this view (see 246). Recent work on Memoirs demon- strates why sex has absorbed so much critical attention on the novel: because it so richly functions as a vehicle for addressing other contemporary concerns�. Outstanding recent accounts emphasize its contributions to realism (see Danielle b obker, “Sodomy, Geography, and Misdirection in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure,” University of Toronto Quarterly 79 [2010]: 1035–45); domestic ideology (see Andrea Haslanger, “What Happens When Pornography Ends in Marriage,” ELH 78 [2011]: 163–88); and theories of language (see Scott Juengel, “Doing Things with Fann�y Hill,” ELH 76 [2009]: 419–46). Making Pornography, 1749–1968 931 13 bradford Mudge’s reading of John Cleland, Matthew lewis, and Jane Austen identifies a kind of dispersed pornography prior to the genre’ s coalescence. I disagree, though, that after the Romantic period the genre loses self-consciousnes�s; the textual history I provide shows that pornographic production remains highly awar�e of its own methods. See “How to Do the History of Pornography: Romantic Sexualit�y and its Field of Vision,” in Historicizing Romantic Sexuality, ed. Richard C. Sha, Romantic Circles Praxis Series (January 2006), http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/sexuality/mudge/ mudge.html. 14 Freeman’s mid-century publications include exposés of Henry VIII, the Roman Catholic church, an “unfortunate young nobleman return’d from thir�teen years slavery in America,” as well as pamphlets on the hoaxes of street performers and the resignation of l ord Chesterfield. The imprint may be false, according to Henry Plomer’s Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers in England, 1726–1775 (Oxford: b ibliographical Society at the Oxford Univ. Press, 1932). l ater in the century, History of the Human Heart becomes the subtitle to Henry b rooke’s sentimental novel Juliet Grenville. The similarity seems to be coincidence. 15 History is briefly noted by Ruth Perry in Novel Relations: The Transformation of Kinship in English Literature and Culture, 1748–1818 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004), in the context of prohibitions on premarital sex (see �261); l aura Rosenthal in the bibliography of Nightwalkers: Prostitute Narratives from the Eighteenth Century (Peterborough: b roadview Press, 2008); Raymond Stephanson in Yard of Wit: Male Creativity and Sexuality, 1650–1750 (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), for its discussion of “sperm-as-man” (38); and Randolph Trumbach in “ l ondon’s Sapphists: From Three Sexes to Four Genders in the Making of Modern Cult�ure,” in Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History�, ed. Gilbert Herdt (New York: Zone b ooks, 1994), for a reference to hermaphroditism in women. History is not included in ECCO. 16 I therefore disagree further with Wagner, who claims that “comic effects . . . are detrimental” to pornography’s aim of arousal (225). History’s humor may be what causes Wagner to mention it in passing as a “sub-pornographic title” (246�). 17 See Thomas laqueur, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation (New York: Zone, 2004), 302–16 and Michael McKeon, The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge ( b altimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2005), 294–301. See Harvey, 61–76 for her account of group reading. 18 Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, ed. Peter Sabor (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999), 10. 19 See Tim Hitchcock, English Sexualities, 1700–1800 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997), 42–57. Roy Porter and l esley Hall survey the “amalgam of traditional medico- scientific learning with other sorts of information” made available to various strata of eighteenth-century society (The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain, 1750–1950 [New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1995], 65). 20 “Shooting the bridge” is a nautical reference common in literary a�ccounts of posture girls. “The nature of this routine can only be guessed at, but it all�udes to the hazards of negotiating l ondon b ridge by boat,” a passageway that was narrow and precarious, water levels being variable on each side of the bridge (Gordon Williams, A Dictionary of Sexual Language in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature, 3 vol. [ l ondon: The Athlone Press, 1994], 3:1077–78). The “warm cataracts” suggest� Camillo is showered by one kind of bodily fluid or another. 21 “Supposititious” means something like “supposed.” The OED’s meanings include both insidiously deceptive and simply imaginary: “1. Put by devious m�eans in place of Kathleen lubey 932 another; fraudulently substituted for the genuine thing or person,” or “2. Pretended or imagined to exist; feigned, fictitious.” The first definition would align more fully with the feminist meaning I’m locating in the passage. 22 Harvey, 28. See also Peakman, 14–24. Constraints come to be imposed in 1787� by William Wilberforce’s Proclamation Society, devoted to suppressing “loose and licentious” publications, and later by the Society for the Suppressio�n of Vice in 1802 (Colin Manchester, “ l ord Campbell’s Act: England’s First Obscenity Statute,” Journal of Legal History 9 [1988]: 224). 23 I consider Progress along with History in a discussion of sex as an epistemology in mid-century novels. See l ubey, 120–30. Progress appears only in the microform collection Early British Fiction: pre 1750 and is not listed in the English Short Title Catalogue or ECCO. To my knowledge this binding contains the only extant copy of Progress. The b ritish l ibrary has assigned the 1744 date, which was erased from the title page but is corroborated by the Gentleman’s Magazine, November 1744. T. Wiltshire is most surely an alias, as no other titles with this imprint a�ppear in this volume of the Gentleman’s Magazine or the b ritish l ibrary catalogue, and Wiltshire has no entry in Plomer’s Dictionary. 24 See Charles Mosley, ed., Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage, 107th ed., 3 vol. (Wilmington, DE: b urke’s Peerage & Gentry, 2003), 2:2353–56. The spelling of Weir was changed to Vere at some point after Catherine Weir’s death. Architect Robert Adam’s account of the Grand Tour he undertook with Hope-Weir in 1754 depicts him as socially connected and fashionable, even foppish, on one �occasion a “childish coxcomb” (John Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh and Rome [ l ondon: John Murray, 1962], 150). See also the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. “Monson, [née Vane], l ady Anne,” by Janet b rowne. 25 Jan Fergus’s research shows the ways in which the historical record can obscure the gender of readers. See Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006), 41–52 and 209–11. Peakman finds some evidence of women reading and selling erotic works (see Peakman, 26, 35–37), but Harv�ey argues that women’s involvement with erotic texts was “highly circumscribed” (43).� 26 The Mysteries of Love Reveal’d: or, Rules for the Conduct of Ladies and Gentlemen in their Amours ( l ondon, n.d.), 125. l ibraries variously date it 1715 and circa 1740. The 1715 dating seems erroneous. The London Magazine lists it under new titles in 1738, and its “just publish’d” advertisements contain titles da�ted 1736. 27 Eliza Haywood’s authorship is implied by the “E.H.” on the title page. The attri�- bution is not certain, nor is it particularly important to my discussion�. The collector, after all, was not concerned to include authors’ names in the table o�f contents, and all the other texts are anonymous. l eah Orr finds the Mercenary Lover attribution to be dubious, and does not mention The Padlock in “The b asis for Attribution in the Canon of Eliza Haywood,” The Library, 7th series, 12.4 (2011): 335–75. 28 The shelfmarks of these two holdings are sequentially close, 12315.bbb.3�2 and 12316.bbb.38(3.), suggesting they may have been acquired at the same t�ime, possibly as part of the same bequest that contained the binding of History and Progress. Perhaps this owner removed the amatory works from the binding and shelved them separately, preserving the physical binding for the works deemed to have a greater degree of sexual interest. 29 Charles Ramsden finds ornamentation to be on the rise in bookbinding p�ractices by around 1765, and definitively by 1780; see London Bookbinders, 1780–1840 ( l ondon: b . T. b atsford l td., 1956). Making Pornography, 1749–1968 933 30 On the origins of the Private Case, see Peter Fryer, Private Case—Public Scandal ( l ondon: Martin Secker and Warburg, 1966), reprinted as Secrets of the British Museum (New York: Citadel Press, 1968), 41–42. Fryer emphasizes the l i brary’s secrecy of these holdings and the exclusivity of access granted to elite men. The Private� Case’s inception overlaps closely with the first Parliamentary statute against obscene �publications. See Manchester, “ l ord Campbell’s Act,” 226–32. 31 The three volumes of Ashbee’s bibliography—Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1877), Centuria Librorum Absconditorum (1879), and Catena Librorum Tacendorum (1885)—were privately printed and published under the pseudonym Pis�anus Fraxi. Ashbee bequeathed his 15,229-volume private library, which included much sexual material, to the b ritish l ibrary upon his death in 1900. See Fryer, Secrets, 47–50 and Forbidden Books of the Victorians ( l ondon: The Odyssey Press, 1970), 14. 32 Patrick Kearney, The Private Case: An Annotated Bibliography of the Private Case Erotica Collection in the British (Museum) Library ( l ondon: Jay l andesman l imited, 1981). On the reassignment of shelfmarks, see pages 62–69. Peakman, �for example, read most comprehensively according to Kearney’s bibliography and so inherits the parameters of the Private Case shelfmarks (195–96). The b ritish l ibrary now holds Kearney’s illuminating S upplement to the Private Case of the British (Museum) Library (1982): comprising books that used to be in the Private Case (Santa Rosa: Scissors and Paste b ibliographies, 2002). 33 For example, The Whore’s Rhetorick (1683), Edmund Curll’s edition of Venus in the Cloister (1725), and various editions of Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure remain in the Private Case today, while Cleland’s Memoirs of a Coxcomb, some editions (but not others) of Rochester’s poetry, and an 1885 edition of The History of the Human Heart have been reassigned non-P.C. shelfmarks. 34 This shelfmark denotes “cupboard books,” works which may or may no�t be held in a literal cupboard, but in any case are so marked to indicate a degre�e of sexual content. l ike D.C. holdings, they are restricted materials and must be consulted i�n a supervised area of the b ritish l ibrary reading room. The Cup. holdings range from “sexological works, books on contraception, guides to erotic techniqu�e” to books that “embrace sexual questions, or with piquant illustrations” to “erotic art: nudist and girly magazines, ‘art studies’, books on the cinema containing pictures �of women” (Fryer, Secrets, 22–23). Harvey’s Reading Sex works largely from Cup. shelfmarks, but she does not remark on how this designation shaped her research methods. 35 Comparing bibliographies that drew on the Private Case, one can detect C�up. reassignments. b y the time the binding of History and Progress was acquired in 1982, for example, an 1885 reprint of History had been declassified from P.C. to Cup., a change that took place sometime between Fryer’s 1966 account and Kearney’s 1981 bibliography, and so the 1749 edition likely went into the “cupboard” with it.� This later acquisition and less restrictive shelfmarking practices would also explain why the 1749 History does not appear in any of the extant bibliographies of the Private Case, most notably Kearney’s, and therefore why it has not been pursued by scholars seeking early pornographic texts, who trust the P.C. shelfmark to lead them to the most pertinent material. Works I consulted include Ashbee’s bibliography; Rolf S. Reade’s Registrum Librorum Eroticum (1936); Fryer’s Private Case—Public Scandal (1966); Kearney’s Private Case (1981); and Peter Mendes’s Clandestine Erotic Fiction in English, 1800–1930 (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1993), as well as the b ritish l ibrary’s online catalogue. Most of the P.C. declassifications I saw occurred between Fryer’s 1966 study and Kearney’s 1981 bibliography. New titles are still added to the Private Case, as Kearney tracks on his website, http://www.scissors-and-paste.net/PC_additions.html. Kathleen lubey 934 36 Ashbee attributes the little information he has on the first edition o�f History to Reddie in a footnote. See Catena Librorum Tacendorum, reprinted as The Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature (New York: Documentary b ooks, 1962), 121. See also Fryer, Forbidden Books, 10–11.Mendes states that Reddie was “a pivotal figure in the w�orld of Victorian pornography, as collector, translator, author and transmitter of texts from authors to publishers” (3). 37 On Reddie’s meticulousness, see Ashbee, Catena, xlvii–xlviii. 38 Ashbee, Catena, 121. Scholars who inherit this error include Fryer, Secrets, 80; Kearney, A History of Erotic Literature ( l ondon: Macmillan, 1982), 108; and Wagner, Eros Revived, 246. 39 Ashbee, Catena, 121, 124, 122.40 See Iain McCalman, Radical Underworlds: Prophets, Revolutionaries, and Pornographers in London, 1795–1840 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988), 204–231 and l isa Sigel, Governing Pleasures: Pornography and Social Change in England, 1815–1914 (New b runswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2002), 15–49, both of whom link the origin of the market in pornographic publication with political radicalism and freethinking. Colette Colligan argues that textual circulation within an�d beyond b ritain shaped conceptions of obscenity in the period. See From Byron to Beardsley: Sexuality and Exoticism in Nineteenth-Century Print Culture (New York: Palgrave, 2006), 9–22. On the move of English pornographic production to the continent, see Mendes, 24–41. 41 lynda Nead, Victorian Babylon: People, Streets, and Images in Nineteenth-Century London (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2000), 164. 42 See Ashbee, Catena Librorum Tacendorum, 68–70. Ashbee lists several American printings as well. On William Dugdale’s career and many imprisonments, see Kearney, History, 107; McCalman, 210–211; and Sigel, Governing Pleasures, 18–23. Sigel points out that his legal troubles stemmed from his selling to working-class re�aders, who were thought to be more prone to moral corruption than the middle and leisure� classes; Nead suggests he also had links to moneyed and influential customers w�ho helped him out of his prison sentences (180–81). 43 On Dugdale’s legal skirmish with byron, see Deana Heath, Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India, and Au�stralia (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010), 47. 44 Mendes points out the scarcity of English titles in british library’s collection from the period 1820 to 1883, suggesting much nineteenth-century material was� eliminated. In his bequest, Ashbee allowed for the destruction of duplicates in his �collection, but Mendes provides evidence that T rustees also permitted the destruction of “offensive” material in his collection (466). 45 Sigel, Governing Pleasures, 47.46 See Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, in The Exquisite: A Collection of Tales, Histories and Essays, funny, fanciful and facetious, interspersed with Anecdotes…Illustrated wit�h Numerous Engravings, 3 vol. ( l ondon: Printed and Published by H. Smith [William Dugdale], 1842–1844), 3: 125–248. Hereafter cited parenthetically� by page number and abbreviated D. “H. Smith” was one of Dugdale’s several aliases. See Ashbee, Catena Librorum Tacendorum, 339–43 and Sigel, Governing Pleasures, 45. A reproduction of The Exquisite is available in the microfilm collection Sex and Sexuality, 1640–1940: Literary, Medical, and Sociological Perspectives, Part 3, ed. Mudge (Marlborough: Adam Matthew Publications, 2002). 47 Quoted in Mendes, 141. Making Pornography, 1749–1968 935 48 Fryer quotes from this edition in Private Case—Public Scandal, indicating it was held in the Private Case (P.C.27.a.19) in the 1960s, but it does not appear in Kearney’s bibliography so had been reassigned by 1980. The two other copies (Cup.�804.p.41 and 43) bear the bookplate of J. b . Rund, a collector who made a donation of erotic books in the later twentieth century (Private Case, 65). 49 This coterie context corresponds to Sigel’s account of literary pornography’s increasing exclusivity in the late nineteenth century, in which men of Ashbee’s elite milieu produced and circulated expensive texts (see Governing Pleasures, 55–63). On the Rochester series and the Avery-Reader partnership, see Mendes, 12–13, 141–142, and 452–453. 50 Heath, 45. On this corpus of pornographic fiction, see Marcus, 197–251 and Ellen b ayuk Rosenman, Unauthorized Pleasures: Accounts of Victorian Erotic Experience (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2003). 51 Memoirs of a Man of Pleasure, ed. James Graham, pseud. ( lon don: Tandem, 1968). Hereafter cited parenthetically by page number and abbreviated G. 52 Henry Abelove, “Some Speculations on the History of Sexual Intercours�e during the l ong Eighteenth Century in England,” Genders 6 (1989): 127, 126; reprinted in Deep Gossip (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005). 53 Abelove, 129. See also E. P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,” Past and Present 38 (1967): 56–97. 54 Abelove, 129. Hitchcock provides supporting evidence. See English Sexualities, 1700–1800, 24–41. Joseph Drury links Abelove’s thesis to the pleasures of “unfore- seen stoppages” in Sterne’s practice of narrative digression. See “The Novel and the Machine,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 42 (2009): 340–41. Kathleen lubey
Hi! Could you please read, summarize, and take detailed notes on three research articles for me? Also, please suggest ideas for a thesis. I will be writing a 2,500-word research paper on Fanny Hill: M
Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2 .June 2010 .75-96. * Received: February 24, 20 10; Accepted: May 7 , 20 10 Kuo -jung Chen , Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Language s and Literature, National Chung Cheng University , Chiayi, Taiwan E-mail: [email protected] The Concept of Virginity and Its Representations in Eighteenth -Century English Literature Kuo -jung Chen ABSTRACT This essay explores the concept of virginity and its representations in eighteenth -century English literature. In the first part, I trace t he origins and development of the concept of virginity in the Western civilizations from three different perspectives: Greco -Roman, Christian, and socio -cultural. The Greco -Roman conception of virginity focuses on three Virgin Goddesses —Athena (Minerva), A rtemis (Diana), and Hestia (Vesta) . The Christian tradition centers on the key ideas of imitatio Christi , the Virgin Mary, and asexual cohabitation. In the social -cultural context, the concept of virginity is dominated by patriarchal values and cultural co ded references . Moreover, it represents personal and family honor and expresses monetary and practical concern s. The second part of this essay discusses the ramifications o f the concept of virginity i n eighteenth -century English literature. Virginity may b e treated as a butt of joke or disparagement, upheld as a criterion for moral or religious judgment, or treasured as merchandise for the market. In Samuel Richardson ‟s Clarissa and Pamela , virginity is tantamount to female virtue and a warranty of female h appiness, but in John Cleland ‟s Fanny Hill it becomes an imaginary “Holy Grail ” for male fantasy or heroic adventure. When female virginity becomes a matter of life and death, a warranty of family honor and fortune, and a cornerstone of public morality and welfare, how it is represented in literature has constituted a collective historical memory not only of women but of all human beings. KEY WORDS: the Concept of Virginity, Literary Representations, the Eighteenth Century 76 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 貞操觀念與其在 十八世紀 英國文學中的呈現 陳國榮  摘 要 本篇論文探討貞操觀念及其在十八世紀英國文學中 的呈現。論文共分兩大部分。第一部分從希臘羅馬、基督 教、與社會文化三個角度來追溯西方文明中貞操觀念的產 生與發展。希臘羅馬的貞操觀念源自三位貞潔女神 —雅典 娜、阿特密斯、與赫斯媞。基督教的貞操觀念則主要聚焦 於耶穌、聖母瑪利亞、及不分性別的共居。在社會文化範 疇中,貞操觀念則為父權價值所主導而代表個人及家庭榮 譽,同時具有經濟與實際的利益。第二部分探討各種貞操 觀念在十八世紀英國文學的呈現方式。貞操可能是被揶揄 或貶抑的對象,道德與宗教的判斷標準,也可能是需珍惜 的商品。在李查 生( Samuel Richardson )的《克羅麗莎》 ( Clarissa )與《潘蜜菈》( Pamela )中,貞操等同於女性 美德,更是女性幸福的保證。然而在克里蘭( John Cleland ) 的《芬妮 ‧ 希爾》( Fanny Hill )中,貞操則是種男性想像 的「聖杯」,藉以滿足其幻想與英雄奇遇。當女性貞操變 成一件生死大事,一個家庭名譽與財富的象徵,甚至整個 社會道德與幸福的基柱時,文學中所呈現貞操觀念不僅成 為女性更是人類共同的歷史記憶。 關鍵詞 :貞操觀念、文學呈現、十八世紀  陳國榮 ,國立中正大學外國語文學系副教授 。 E-mail: [email protected] The Concept of Virginity 77 Before we delve into the concept of virginity, a definitional preamble is necessary for the scope of this essay. Though virginity as a sexual criterion can certainly be applied to both male s and female s, I would focus only on female virginity in order to illustrate female exp erience in a specific historical context. Such a restriction leads to the second prerequisite: only the concept of virginity before and in the eighteenth century will be included. Such a necessity is evidenced by the drastic changing attitude toward virgin ity in the course of history, especially in the last century. Aside from temporal condition, spatial stipulation is al so added to underscore a Eurocentric/Western view on virginity. The notion of virginity seems to be universal at first glance, but regiona l (cultural and religious) differences may often present a gap too broad or huge to be bridged or filled. These geographical disparities are manifest even within similar culture s. For instance, as Anne -Marie Sohn points out , To take the French for example , in Flanders, Artois, and Picardy virginity was not valued in the least. In Gravelines a virgin could even be referred to as „ rien qu’une merde sur une pelle ‟ (nothing but shit on a shovel). . . . As for the Normans, they did not criticize the unmarried m other, as they were happy to verify her ability to bear children . . . . There were, by contrast, until the period between the two world wars, areas that were hard on young women who had “erred.” In these places even prenuptial conception was criticized, an d weighed as an indelible stain on the wife. (263) 1 Therefore, in any discussion of the concept of virginity, temporal and spatial discrepancies must always be taken into account . Furthermore, some terms often associated with virginity, such as chastity or celibacy, need to be treated discretely because of their special implications. Ambrose of Milan divided female chastity ( castitas ) into three forms or phases: premarital, marital, and widowed. “Conjugal, widowed, and virginal 1 Sohn further elaborates on various attitudes toward virginity: “in certain southern rural regions masculine honor and feminine virginity were conflated. . . . The charivaris (noisy rituals that expressed communal disapproval of perceived violators of social norms) that targeted „loose women‟ were common in Charente and in Limousin until 1914, in Brittany during the period between the wars, and in Languedoc into the 1950s . . . . In the cities, tolerance prevailed among the populace, which joked that one must lose one‟s virginity as quickly as possible to avoid being taken for a halfwit. Far from wanting to marry a virgin, many men preferred experienced women” (263). These divergent views reflect the nebulous nature of the concept of virginity. 78 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 castitas were, however, ranke d according to an ascending order of virtue” (Cooper 1558). Based on such religious precepts , virginity is the highest form of chastity because chastity can also be realized in other aspects /phases of human life. Likewise, according to Thomas Aquinas, cast itas “sanctifies both the married couple in legitimate sexual union, and the ascetic in sexual renunciation” (Cooper 1558). More importantly, the loss of virginity is essentially irrevocable . As Samuel Pepys writes in his diary (November 18, 1664), one Lor d Craven compares monopoly to the irreversible nature of virginity: “if I occupy a wench first, you may occupy her again your heart out you can never have her maidenhead after I have once had it” (1003). 2 Different from virginity‟s social/cultural values (alongside with its religious implication) , celibacy is mainly religion -oriented. Whether it is a temporary abstinence before and during sacred rituals or a permanent avowal for a devout purpose, celibacy is often practiced from a metaphysical perspective. As Daniel Gold points out, “The great traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity , . . . all oriented toward otherwor ldly goals, have firmly established roles for celibate monks working out their salvation. . . . The reasons offered for celibacy con sequently range from concerns for personal physical health to a total rejection of the physical body” (1475). In other words , physical virginity is not a prerequisite to certain forms of chastity (conjugal and widowed) and celibacy (temporary abstinence). With these definitional and restrictive premises in mind, we may now trace the development of the concept of virginity before the eighteenth century and then investigate how it is represented in various literary forms in the eighteent h century. The Greco -Roman Perspective The concept of v irginity is first and foremost associated with sexual innocence and bodily purity. In his comparison between barbarian s and the Greeks, Herodotus report ed that “people on the fringes of the Greek world . . . did not prize t he virginity of unmarried girls nor consider a wife the sexual partner exclusively of her husband (as did most Greeks), but who practice fraternal polyandry, or promiscuous intercourse” (Pomeroy 353). Virginity and chastity thus become the important measur es to differentiate the Greeks from 2 The modern technology of hymenorrhaphy (hymen reconstruction surgery) certainly makes this issue more complicated. For the purpose and scope of this essay, such a mode rn medical practice will not be considered. The Concept of Virginity 79 barbarians. Such a notion is evidenced by the special status granted to virgin boys and girls and by the attributes of the three Virgin Goddesses: Athena (Minerva), Artemis (Diana), and Hestia (Vesta) in the Greco -Roman world . As Han J. W. Drijvers maintains, “because of their lack or renunciation of sexual experience, virgins are not completely male or female, and consequently defy in a sense gender specificity. . . . This mediating function of virgins makes them partic ularly appropriate for contact with the supernatural and implies their sacredness” (9607). Virgins are often entrusted with special religious rituals because they are supposed to be in closer contact with divinity and nature owing to their sexual purity. Furthermore, the loss of virginity is considered an irrevocable act and often lamented in a n elegiac way , as manifested in a dialogue , written by Sappho of Lesbos , between a bride and her maidenhood: Bride : Maidenhood, maidenhood, where have you gone and le ft me? Maidenhood : No more will I come back to you, no more will I come back. (qtd. in Sultan 208) Though the loss of virginity may be bewail ed, it also indicates a necessary rite of passage through which a young girl enters into mature womanhood. Otherwi se, according to early Modern (mis)conception, green sickness ( “the disease of maid occasioned by celibacy ”) will develop in a young virgin and become detrimental to her health. 3 The three Virgin Goddess es in classical mythology are essential in shaping th e western concept of virginity. The name Athena Parthenos literally means Athena the Virgin (thus the Parthenon, the Virgin‟s Temple). However, Athena ‟s virginity is asexual and different from that of Artemis, the virgin goddess of girls before they marry and of women in their delivery. Athena is “impeccable,” “sexually unapproachable,” “beautiful with a severe and aloof kind of loveliness that is masculine and striking ,” and she is usually associated with qualities more important than her virginity . For in stance, “Athena is a 3 This definition is given by Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811). Green sickness is also known as morbus virgineus (“virgin‟s disease”) or febris amatoria (“lover‟s fever”) . In Shakespeare ‟s Romeo and Juliet , Capulet cries out to Juliet —“Out, you green -sickness carrion! out, you baggage!” (III.v .156) —when she refuses to marry Paris . For a detailed discussion of green sickness and its (often misconceived) associations with virginity, please refer to Helen King ‟s The D isease of Virgins: Green Sickness , Chlorosis, and the Problems of Puberty (London: Routledge, 2004). 80 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 goddess of many other specific arts, crafts, and skills (military, political, and domestic), as well as the deification of wisdom and good counsel in a more generic and abstract conception” ( Morford and Lenardon 166 -67). She is also credited with the invention of weaving, an indispensable female skill. Therefore, Athena is more important in helping young girls to develop their womanly qualities than in being a role model for the preservation of virginity . By contrast, Artemis‟s virginit y tends to be more humane and desirable from a human perspective . In discussing Titian‟s “Diana and Acta eon,” Helen McDonald aptly presents both the human/sensual and the divine/chaste sides of Diana: As Goddess of Hunting she presides over the welfare of small animals, while her association with Chastity suggests sexuality. In the social sphere of the seventeenth century there was a related contradiction: virginity was prized only until marriage was achieved, and it was the hope of marriage that made wome n chaste. In representation there is a further contradiction: the chaste Diana, a Goddess and therefore immortal, is seen to have the body and sensuality of a mortal woman. . . . Her small lap -dog is an obvious contrast to Actaeon‟s hunting dog, and refers , symbolically, to the chastity of the Goddess, while the accoutrements of the bath — the mirror, the vase, perfume, towels and veils — all relate metonymically to the erotic presentation of Diana‟s body. (69) Though Acteaon unwittingly chance s upon Diana ‟s ba thing, she relentlessly transforms him into a deer to be chased and devoured by his own hounds. In such a description of Diana, inviolable chastity coexists with sexual attraction, and erotic arousal with forbidden adoration. As James Al lan Evans notes, “E verywhere in Greece it was the custom for girls of marriageable age to dance and sing in choruses at festivals in honor of Artemis, and this was one place where young men could become acquainted with unmarried girls. There was a darker side to Artemis, how ever. Girls who failed to remain pure for whatever reason encountered her wrath” (301). Consequently, the notion of virginity entails both the chaste and the sensual simultaneously ; sexual initiation and physical restraint must go hand in hand. The importa nce of Vesta (Hestia) lies not so much in her own virginity The Concept of Virginity 81 as in the practice of her followers, the Vestal Virgins, who are six in number and “the highest religious officials in Rome” (O‟Neal and Jones 230). The Vestal Virgins must keep their virginity for thirty years and are punishable with live burial if they break their vows. 4 However, it is important to note that the Greeks ha ve no Vestal Virgins. Though the two names of the goddess — Vesta and Hestia — are sometimes interchangeable, they present differen t notions of v irginity. As Jennifer Larson remarks, “The perpetual virginity of Hestia, whose name simply means „hearth,‟ reflects the Greek belief that fire and the fireplace must be kept pure and inviolate. The hearth was the center of domestic cult; it symbolized the integrity of the individual household, and by extension, the chastity of the resident women” (160 -61). Therefore, the concept of virginity as symbolized by Vesta (Hestia) is extend ed from the virginity of the unmarried (the Vestal Virgins) to the chastity of the married (the wives and their hearths) . Such a notion is handed down to the western culture and exerts a profound influence on the construction of female identity. Fig. 1 Titian ‟s Diana and Actaeon (1556 -1559) 4 According to Isaac Asimov, “in eleven hundred years only twenty cases of violation of that rule were recorded” (33). 82 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 The Christian Perspecti ve The concept of virginity in the Christian tradition focuses mainly on three key ideas: imitatio Christi , the Virgin Mary, and asexual cohabitation . These key notions culminate in the triumph of spiritual ideals over bodily desires and aim at the reclama tion of a paradise lost. At the early stage of Christianity, the concept of imitatio Christi is not only based on Christ himself being a virgin (and thus his followers should also be virgins) but also extended “to include those who had been sexually active but now chose to abstain” ; m ore importantly, such a status “is actually a reversion of the fateful division of humankind into sexually active males and females after the Fall, which started with the creation of Eve from Adam” (Drijvers 9607). Therefore, the life of a virgin is “described as becoming children who do not yet know sexual shame” and “characterized as angelical life ( bios aggelikos )” (Drijvers 9608) . A life of sexual innocence may also reflect “a present experience of future life in the kingdom of heaven” (Camelot 547). The dogma of Mary ‟s virginity in the Christian tradition include s three major notion s: “the virginal conception of Jesus by Mary without any human father, the virginal birth of the child from the womb of His mother without injury to the bodily integrity of Mary, and Mary‟s observance of virginity afterward throughout her earthly life” (Owens and Jelly 532). These notions testify to the principal ideas of virginity from the Christian perspective: asexual life, physical integrity, a nd marital chastity. As P. T. Camelot maintains , “Moral theology distinguishes a triple element in virginity: physical integrity; the absence of all voluntary and complete venereal pleasure in the past; and, as regards the future, a determination to abstai n perpetually from such pleasure” (546). Therefore, the virginity of Mary probably exerts a more profound influence than Christ‟s virginity does on the Western concept of virginity. As Edward Gibbon points out in History of the Decline and Fall of the Roma n Empire : One of the most subtile disputants of the Manichaean school has pressed the danger and indecency of supposing, that the God of the Christians, in the state of a human foetus, emerged at the end of nine months from a female womb. The pious horror of his antagonists provoked them to disclaim all sensual circumstances of conception and delivery; to maintain that the The Concept of Virginity 83 divinity passed through Mary like a sunbeam through a plate of glass; and to assert, that the seal of her virginity remained unbroken ev en at the moment when she became the mother of Christ. (Ch. 47, pt. 1) Consequently, Mary ‟s bodily integrity has become as important as her spiritual virginity in order to meet the corresponding holiness of Christ ‟s physical virginity. The actualization of the concept of virginity in its extreme form is manifested in the monastic life and religious celibacy. 5 Asexual cohabitation is first practiced in the monastery where monks and virgins used to live together, only to be segregated later for disciplinary c onsideration s. However, such an asexual life can be observed not only by virgins who wish to keep their bodily integrity but also by those who, in spite of “accidental and involuntary loss of physical integrity” still has their virginity “which is most ess entially in the will, intact” (Camelot 546). Such an emphasis on the moral or spiritual aspect of virginity will stimulate some heated debates. The Socio -cultural Perspective From an anthropological or socio -cultural perspective, the concept of virginity assumes a much wider significance than the Greco -Roman and Christian conceptions do . Such a concept has been extended from a personal will to a socio -cultural real ity, endowed with patriarchal values and cultural coded references . At the personal level, “A virgin‟s chastity foretold its own fulfilment at the next, married, stage of life in harmonious domesticity and the production of legitimate offspring” (Cooper 1558). At the social level, a young woman ‟s virginity may symbol ize familial or even communal ho nor. 6 Moreover, female virginity also involves monetary and practical concern s. As 5 These mainly Catholic noti ons of virginity are severely attacked by some Protestant reformers. As Stephen Hause and William Maltby point out, “Beginning with Luther and Zwingli, they rejected the ideal of clerical celibacy and declared that a Christian marriage was the ideal basis for a godly life. They specifically attacked medieval writings that either condemned women as temptresses or extolled virginity as the highest of female callings, and drew attractive and sentimental portraits of the virtuous wife” (269). However, as manife sted in various forms of eighteenth -century English literature, such a liberal notion of virginity seems not persuasive and pervasive in both fictional and real lives. 6 A young girl ‟s virginity may become a symbol of the whole group to which she belong s as in some parts of India , and the chief ‟s daughter ‟s virginity may even signify “the integrity of the whole society” as in some Pacific islands (Drijvers 9607) . Though not so excessive in its applications, the Western concept of virginity is not much diff erent in its implication s. 84 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 Jon P. Mitchell argues, “Shame is directly related to honour, in that a reduction of the shame of a household‟s women becomes a direct reflection on the honour of its men. T he man whose wife is adulterous, or who fails to demonstrate the virginity of his new b ride, is dishonoured” (424). The monetary consideration is also manifest in the Bible : “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall sure ly endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins” ( King James Version, Exod. 16 -17). Sometimes, a betrothed young woman who loses her virginity is even punished by death: “ If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die” (Deut . 22 -24 ). However, if the you ng woman is violated against her will in the field, only the ravished (i.e. the victim) will be put to death. Eventually, t he concept of virginity (and its connotations of integrity and sanctity) is even elevated from the personal and social level s to the national one , as symbolized by Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, in England and Joan of Arc, “la Pucelle,” in France. 7 The perceived value of virginity thus leads to a wide range of euphuis tic and coded references in literature. For instance, s everal flowers are associated with virginity. The lily is used by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Pope, and Blake to represent virginity because of its white color and supposed purity ; the (white) rose and the violet also symbolize virginity owing to their purity and swee t perfume. 8 Consequently, the term defloration indicates both masculine dominance and feminine subjection as well as sexual conflict s. The act of defloration is sometimes even regarded as the privilege of the patriarch. 9 7 Elizabeth I ‟s virginity has always been an issue of intense debate. As Asimov observes, “Non -marriage need not necessarily be equated with virginity, of course, and Elizabeth had had several favorites (including the Earl of Ess ex at the time the play [Shakespeare ‟s A Midsummer Night ‟s Dream] was written) but her subjects accepted her virginity as fact . . . . As the years passed and she grew too old to have children anyway, the best had to be made of it, and Elizabeth’s reputed v irginity became a source of pride” (33) . Joan of Arc ‟s virginity is an essential warranty of her divine power. As Deborah A. Fraioli remarks, “Before placing faith in her, Charles subjected her to a formal examination by theologians, which included a test of her virginity” ; and “her virginity, in fact, had to be verified by, among others, the dauphin‟s mother -in-law, Yolanda of Aragon, to eliminate the possibility of sorcery” (80, 98). 8 Sigmund Freud also raises an interesting issue concerning the associa tion of the violet with virginity. As he explains in The Interpretation of Dreams, “The dream had made use of the great chance similarity between the words „violet ‟ and „violate ‟—the difference in their pronunciation lies merely in the different stress upo n their final syllables —in order to express „in the language of flowers ‟ the dreamer ‟s thoughts on the violence of defloration (another term that employs flower symbolism) and possibl y also a masochistic trait in her character ” (495 ). 9 Wolfgang Amadeus M ozart ‟s The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro , 1786) provides a famous The Concept of Virginity 85 As Nancy J. Chodorow points out, In “The Taboo of Virginity,” Freud suggests that women other than mothers, vengeful recently deflorated ex -virgins, might castrate a man or take his penis. In the ex -virgins‟ case, this would be in revenge for their painful defloration. Therefore, in many cu ltures, the custom is jus primae noctis : the right of strong, powerful, older men to perform a bride’s defloration. (242 -43) Therefore, the concept of virginity is not simply limited to a woman ‟s purity and honor , but it also engage s gender power and sexua l con tests , as pointed out by Simone de Bea uvoir‟s virginity myths, “in which virginity is prized in young women but feared as unmastered sexuality in older women” (Fallaize 89). Virginity thus embodies inherent contradictions: it is to be praised or conde mned according to different contexts. Literary Representations In eighteenth -century English literature, the usage of the term virginity generally falls into three broad categories: mockery/disparagement, morality/religio n, and merchandise/transaction. How ever, these allotments are not necessar ily mutually exclusive and often reflect certain aspects of patriarchal ideology. Such divisions also reveal more or less the legacy and influence of the concept of virginity in the Western civilizations before the eighteenth century. As Butt of Mockery or Disparagement In its crudest sense, the idea of virginity in a woman echoes certain conventional idea of „ rien qu’une merde sur une pelle ‟ (nothing but shit on a shovel), as mentioned earlier. Under such circumstance s, virginity is taken lightly and treated as butt of joke or disparagement. Sexual discrimination against unmarried women often accompanies such attitude. Horace Walpole in a letter to Hannah More (1787) writes, “You fancied that Mrs. Yearsley was a spurio us issue of a muse; and to be sure, with all their immortal virginity, the example. Count Almaviva ‟s hope to retain droit du seigneur (the lord ‟s right) not only underscores his patristic attitude virginity but also causes a class war between him and his resourceful and subversive valet, Figaro. 86 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 parish of Parnassus has been sadly charged with their bantlings; and, as nobody knows the fathers, no wonder some of the misses have turned out woful reprobates!” (Letter 306). 10 Suc h a harsh criticism reflects common prejudice against female intellectuality and pokes fun at unmarried women writers. The generally positive adjective immortal becomes a term of derision or derogation, ubiquitous in similar contexts. In The Journal to Ste lla , Jonathan Swift mentions the death of an old gentlewoman, who in her will requests the parson, the clerk, and all the pallbearers (eight men and eight maids) to take “their oaths of virginity ”; as a result, “the poor woman still lies unburied, and so m ust do till the general resurrection ” (Letter 19). When Grizzle Pickle (Peregrine ‟s aunt) in Tobias Smollett ‟s Adventures of Peregrine Pickle finds her importance in the family greatly diminished, her attractions neglected by all the male sex in the neigh bourhood, and the withering hand of time hang threatening over her head, [she] began to feel the horror of eternal virginity, and, in a sort of desperation, resolved at any rate to rescue herself from that reproachful and uncomfortable situation . (22) In t hese contexts, virginity is no longer an asset but a negative attribute one might be ashamed of. Such ridicule of a (potential) spinster, feeling “the horror of eternal virginity ” and seeking desperately a husband, is quite common in eighteenth -century li terary works. Lady Wishfort ‟s craze for a husband makes her an easy victim to fortune -hunters in William Congreve ‟s The Way of the World . Young and romantic Lydia Languish laments in fear in Richard Brinsley Sheridan ‟s The Rivals : “O, that I should live to hear myself called Spinster! ” (V.i.471). In a rather sympathetic discussion of women‟s condition in The Rambler 39 (1730), Samuel Johnson states succinctly women‟s ambivalent attitude s towards marriage : “Unblest, still doom ‟d to wed with misery” (251). Be cause of the common attitude “to treat old maids as the refuse of the world,” marriage, though depriving women of many advantages and often 10 “Ann Yearsley [1752 -1806] , known also as „Lactilla‟ or „the Poetical Milkwoman of Bristol ,‟ was one of a small number of successful eighteenth -century working -class writers. Her contribution to the anti -slavery d ebate was a celebrated poem, „A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave -Trade,‟ which appeared in 1788” (Carey, “Ann Yearsley ”). The Concept of Virginity 87 “forced upon them by authority or violence, by persuasion or importunity,” can provide them “a certain security from the reproach and solicitude of antiquated virginity” (253). Simone de Beauvoir ‟s virginity myths, in which virginity in old women would become “unmastered sexuality, ” evidently reflect these disparaging opinions, as shown by the apparently respectful but actually derogatory “immortal,” “eternal,” or “ antiquated .” Likewise, a Miss Notable in Sarah Fielding ‟s novel The Cry: A New Dramatic Fable (1754, written with Jane Collier) equates virginity with female unattractive ness: “I would venture a good wager . . . that Potiphar‟s wife [who tries to seduce Joseph] was about as handsome as my maiden aunt; for indeed, that is the only circumstance which in my opinion can make that old story probable. And it is the fate I believe of all ugly women . . . to meet with nothing but chaste and innocent men” (68) . Therefore, whether it is Mrs. Slipslop in Joseph Andrews , “who having made a small Slip in her Youth had continued a good Maid ever since ” (Fielding 26), or Mrs. Grizzle in Per egrine Pickle , whose very wan comple xion “ was the effects of her virginity and mortification” (3), virginity has become a burden to be relieved and an object of nasty derision . Even when the old abbess of Andoüillets cries out in fear of being raped — “O my virginity! Virginity! ” (7.23) — in Lau rence Sterne‟ s Tristram Shandy , the reader may not feel alarmed sympathetic ally but may react with a wry smile. Since the “immortal ” or “eternal ” virginity in some cases is equated to the undesirable in the male -dominated sexual world, the loss of virgini ty sometimes ironically paves the way for female liberation. 11 In Francis Coventry ‟s The History of Pompey the Little , the heroine gains a new life after her husband ‟s death: “She now began the world anew on her own foundation, and set sail down the stream of pleasure, without the fears of virginity to check her, or the influence of a husband to controul her” (42). Among the pervasively negative attitudes towards female virginity, a silver lining becomes paradoxically all the more radiant in the last case. 11 Though from a different perspective, the Wife of Bath ‟s unorthodox and cynical view on sexual organs in Geoffrey Chaucer ‟s Canter bury Tales on sexual organs perhaps corresponds quite well to such a liberal attitude toward virginity: Telle me also, to what conclusion Were membres maad of generacion, . . . Glose whoso wole, and seye bothe up and doun That they were maked for purgaciou n Of uryne, and oure bothe thynges smale Were eek to knowe a femele from a male, And for noon other cause —say ye no ? (115 -16, 119 -23) 88 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 As Moral Criterion or Religious Conviction At the other extreme of the spectrum, the idea of virginity is regarded as moral standard or religious faith, based mainly on the Greco -Roman tradition of the Virgin Goddesses and the Christian idea of the Virgin Mary. Virginity is considered holy or sacred, something worth the sacrifice of one ‟s life. In Hannah Woolley ‟s The Gentlewoman ’s Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex , female virginity is of paramount importance. She mentions how “seven Milesian Virgins . . . deprived themselves of life, lest hostile force should deprive them of their honour” and, as a contrast, how two maidens in Leucra, in their father ‟s absence , entertain two young men and are made drunk and deflowered. They “in the next morning conce iving a mutual sorrow for their lost Virginity, became resolute Actors in their bloody Tragedy ” (101). In a story by Joseph Addison in The Coverley Papers , the concept of pre -marital virginity is extended to post -marital chastity. After the death of her hu sband, Glaphyra is soon married to his brother. When she tries to embrace her first husband in a dream, he repels and scolds her: “Was not I the husband of thy virginity? Have I not children by thee? How couldst thou forget our loves so far as to enter int o a second marriage, and after that into a third, nay to take for thy husband a man who has so shamefully crept into the bed of his brother?” (No. 110). Glaphyra suffers from the shock and dies not long after this nightmarish experience. Though Addison tri es to use the story to prove the immortality of the soul, the idea of virginity as something for sole possession is too prominent to be ignored. Similarly, a young girl ‟s virginity may represent not only a family asset (“a willing victim at the altar ”) bu t also a sacrifice for a divine purpose. According to such a strict conception of virginity, Edward Gibbon raises “a nice question of casuistry ” about the loss of one ‟s virginity in History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire : “ Whether those tender victims, who had inflexibly refused their consent to the violation which they sustained, had lost, by their misfortune, the glorious crown of virginity” (Ch. 31, pt. 4). In other words, there should be some distinctions between moral and physical virginit y. Samuel Richardson ‟s Clarissa brings such an issue to a climatic discussion in making the eponymous heroine determine d to die after being raped by Robert Lovelace. Quoting from Ecclesiasticus , with his own added comments (in italics), John Harlowe (Clari ssa ‟s uncle) points out the moral danger the whole family will be exposed to because of a dishonored daughter: The Concept of Virginity 89 In her virginity, lest she should be defiled, and gotten with child in her father ‟s house ( and I don ’t make the words, mind that ). . . . Keep a s ure watch over a shameless daughter (yet no watch could hold you! ), lest she make thee a laughing stock to thine enemies (as you have made us all to this cursed Lovelace ), and a byword in the city, and a reproach among the people, and make thee ashamed bef ore the multitude. (1196) The loss of virginity not only causes personal destruction but also brings public shame on the family. However, as Gibbon mentions, the forced loss of virginity in a woman is not considered loss of moral virginity from a religious or spiritual standpoint . John Belford ‟s high praise of Clarissa after her ravishment serves as a clear contrast both to the Harlowe family‟ s bitter reproach and to the rakes ‟ moral degeneration. As he writes to Lovelace, What woman, nice in her person, an d of purity in her mind and manners, did she know what miry wallowers the generality of men of our class are in themselves, and constantly trough and sty with, but would detest the thoughts of associating with such filthy sensualists, whose favourite taste carries them to mingle with the dregs of stews, brothels, and common -sewers? (1393) Interestingly, most occurrences of the term purity in the novel are associated with Clarissa ‟s attributes and personality. The loss of physical virginity, in Richardson ‟s opinion, is certainly not equal to one ‟s moral dishonor . Such a view is echoed almost 150 years later by Thomas Hardy in his choice of A Pure Woman as the subtitle of Tess of the d ’Urbervilles , in which the titular heroine also suffers from a similar traum atic experience. As Merchandise for Sale Virginity as a merchandise to be preserved or displayed for the highest bid has seen common representations in various forms of literature in the eighteenth century. This idea stipulates that the loss of virginity c an be compensated materially (e.g. by monetary payment), as mentioned earlier from the examples in the Bible , and virginity can also be regarded as valuables to be transacted commercially. As Gibbon points out, “the reward of virginity [for the Lombards] m ight equal the fourth part of the husband ‟s 90 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 substance. Some cautious maidens, indeed were wise enough to stipulate beforehand a present, which they were too sure of not deserving. ”12 In Aphra Behn ‟s The Unfortunate Happy Lady: A True History , Gracelove conf esses to Philadelphia, “the intended Victim ”: “Don ‟t you know then, that you are in a naughty House, and that old Beldam is a rank Procuress, to whom I am to give Two hundred Guineas for your Maidenhead? ” (38). In both cases, a price is set for virginity i n a blunt and straightforward way. In a circuitous manner , Samuel Richardson ‟s Pamela also keeps her virginity as the greatest asset in the marriage market, and such value systems are severely attacked by Henry Fielding in his hilarious and sarcastic Shame la (a pun on the heroine ‟s name with both shame and sham). Fielding makes Shamela confess on her wedding night : “I behaved with as much Bashfulness as the purest Virgin in the World could have done. The most difficult Task for me was to blush; however, by holding my Breath, and squeezing my Cheeks with my Handkerchief, I did pretty well” (297). Virginity is too important an asset to be slighted whether one still possesses it or not. However, the concept of virginity with its added value in the marketplace is nowhere so prominent as in John Cleland ‟s Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure , a classical erotic novel which simultaneously flaunts and flouts the concept of virginity. The first appearance of the term virginity in Fanny Hill is not concerned with moral integrity or personal modesty but with its market value. As Fanny tells the reader, Mother Brown has demanded from a “liquorish old goat ” “fifty guineas peremptory for the liberty of attempting me, and a hundred more at the complete gratificati on of his desires, in the triumph over my virginity ” (33). A down payment has to be made before the actual exchange of merchandise. Virginity also becomes, paradoxically, “that darling treasure, that hidden mine so eagerly sought after by the men, and whic h they never dig for, but to destroy ” (58). Therefore, as a marketing strategy, Mrs. Brown has to keep Fanny from the “customers ” until she, as Fanny candidly confesses, “had secured a good market for my maidenhead, which I had at least all the appearances having brought into her Ladyship ‟s service ” (24 -25). Even before the actual transaction, she has to be displayed for inspection and assessment. As Fanny reflects, Mrs. Brown 12 This comment appears at Footnote 136 (compiled by R ev. H. H. Milman) of Chapter 31, Part 5 of the Gutenberg Project edi tion of Gibbon ‟s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire . The Concept of Virginity 91 had already a chapman for me in the house, before whom my charms were to pass in review; for he had not only, in course, insisted on a previous sight of the premises, but also on immediate surrender to him, in case of his agreeing for me; concluding very wisely that such a place as I was in was of the hottest to trust the keeping of s uch a perishable commodity in as a maidenhead . (29) This episode not only dramatizes vividly virginity as a commodity on the seamy side of society but also its fragile and irreversible nature. Though in a more elegant and sophisticated way, Pamela ‟s “virtu e” (virginity in a euphuistic sense) is “rewarded ” by her marriage to Mr. B — , such a practice is not unlike Cleland ‟s blunt presentation of virginity as goods. Not surprisingly, in the bourgeois society, the family fortune and “honor ” often depend upon the daughter ‟s preservation of her virginity. Because of the perishable nature of such a delicate commodity in the business (marriage of convenience or sexual trade), some measures are necessary to keep it perfectly intact or to preserve its appearance at lea st if lost. (The upper classes prefer convent education owing to its provision of a secluded environment from external temptations.) Therefore, just like the dishonest traders ‟ repackaging of old merchandise as new product, Fanny Hill unabashed ly flaunts w ith her false virginity. P hrases like “ my pretences to virginity ” (59), “a fictitious maidenhead ” (116), “my titular maidenhead ” (121), “a counterfeit maidenhead ” (154), “the appearance of my virginity ” (160), “a false virtue ” (160), or “the signs of my vi rginity ” (164) are used forthright throughout the novel, not unlike the scandalous narratives of misdemeanors and crimes in Daniel Defoe ‟s Moll Flanders or Henry Fielding ‟s Jonathan Wild . Moreover, if deception, trick, or stratagem is allowed in political maneuvers or commercial exchanges, it is also legitimate for a vulnerable woman to resort to whatever resources she can have for her day -to-day survival and economic gains. 13 To be a part of the game of male 13 What Derek Pearsall says about Wife of Bath ‟s exploitation of her first th ree husbands in The Canterbury Tales can also be applied to the discussion of women ‟s underprivileged conditions in the economic world. As he maintains, “the nature of her first three marriages, to rich old men, is such as to suggest that she is not so much preying upon men as using those powers that she has in order to win herself a meas ure of independence in a world that is unfair to her sex ” and it is not difficult for us “to recogni se a certain rough legitimacy in the way the Wife has turned the economic tables on her would -be exploiters ” (73). Fanny Hill ‟s deceitful measures are not m uch different from the Wife of Bath‟ s stratagems. 92 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 fantasy or heroic adventure, a young woman needs only to play up to her role correspondingly. Therefore, Fanny dismisses the idea of virginity contemptuously, “all my looks and gestures ever breath [e] nothing but that innocence which the men so ardently require in us, for no other end than to feast thems elves with the pleasures of destroying it, and which they are so grievously, with all their skill, subject to mistakes in” (159). As Bradford Mudge maintains, The generous Mrs. Cole proposes a lucrative deception: the sale of Fanny‟s „„fictitious maidenhea d‟‟ to one „„Mr. Norbert,‟‟ a slightly dissipated young man of fertile imagination for whom female chastity is the Holy Grail of sexual fetishes. . . . Norbert‟s fantasy is, according to Fanny, entirely solipsistic. His adoration of innocence has less to d o with women than with his own need to be the conquering hero, the all powerful ravisher of virgins and othe r defenseless creatures. (250 -51) In such contexts, the concept of virginity merely serves as an ideal of male fantasy. Though such idealization of female virginity occurs in a crude form of commercial exchange in the sex trade, it is not much different from the association of female virginity with euphemistic and coded references to the purity of lily, rose, and violet in literary works. Con clusion 14 Voltaire once said, “It is an infantile su perstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.” Such a materialistic view, though regardless of its spiritual connotations, perh aps rings true in the modern society. Virginity becomes more and more a mere physical attribute and might prove a hindrance to female liberation. Therefore, the idea expressed by the heroine in Francis Coventry ‟s History of Pompey the Little (1751) — “withou t the fears of virginity to check her” — presents an antedated version of the pop singer Madonna ‟s bold declaration that “I always thought of losing my virginity as a career move.” From such a perspective, the loss of virginity constitutes a rite of passage 14 All quotes about virginity in this conclusion, unless otherwise noted, are taken from Thinkexist. com. The Concept of Virginity 93 through which women can not only get rid of the old shackles but also reach self -actualization. However, the emphasis on the concept of virginity throughout the Western history also leads to a cynical attitude that is aptly expressed by Gerald Barzen: “Vir ginity for some women is the only virtue .” Finally, as the Austrian writer and journalist Karl Kraus maintains, “Virginity is the ideal of those who want to deflower .” Whether it is eulogized metaphorically in relation to various flowers in literary works for their imaginary purity or preserved idealistically as a “Holy Grail ” for male fantasy and adventure, the concept of virginity in the eighteenth -century English literature records genuinely and dialectically a history of female experiential memory. 94 Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture .Vol 3.2.June 2010 Wor ks Cited Addison, Joseph, et al. The Coverley Papers . Champaign, Ill: Gutenberg Project, 2004. Asimov, Isaac. Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Works of Shakespeare . New York: Wings Books, 2003. Print. Behn, Aphra. 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