SEX & SEXUALITY, 1640-1940
Literary, Medical and Sociological Perspectives
Woodruff Library call number for series: MICFILM 4135
Part 1: Sources from the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London
Sex and Sexuality seeks to make available a broad range of rare printed texts describing changing attitudes towards sex and the body. Part 1 covers 61 texts from the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Wellcome Institute in London. It offers:
- Medical works on the body, sex, and venereal diseases, including Aristotle's Masterpiece (1690) and Tissot's A New Guide to Health and Long Life (1808).
- Writings on sexual habits, such as Bienville's Nymphomania (1775) and accounts of James Graham's 'celestial bed' through which electrical currents were passed in order to give couples 'superior ecstasy'.
- Works on masturbation from Onania (1729) to Tissot's A Treatise on the Crime of Onan (1766).
- Advice literature on sex such as Thomas Beddoes' Hygeia (1802-3) and H H Allbutt's The Wife's Handbook (1886).
- Material concerning prostitution, including William Acton's Prostitution considered in its moral, social and sanitary aspects (1857) and Michael Ryan's Prostitution in London, with a comparative view of that of Paris and New York (1839).
- Writings on the sociology of sex from George Drysdale's The Elements of Social Science; or Physical, Sexual and Natural Religion (1861) to Richard von Krafft-Ebbing's Psychopathia Sexualis (1892)
Part 2: Romantic friendships and lesbian relationships in literature and history
Part 2 offers 65 texts describing the whole spectrum of same sex relations between women from romantic friendship to lesbian couples:
- The treatment of classical writings by Sappho, Juvenal and Ovid - the way in which their texts were translated tells us a lot about changes in attitude towards homosexuality.
- Historical accounts describing sexual practices in Turkey and the 'Orient' including works by Rycaut, Tavernier, Poussin, Hamilton, and Bourdeille.
- Works on uranism, lesbianism and homosexuality by Xavier Mayne, Raffalovich and J A Symonds.
- Literary treatments of female same sex relations including Jean Barrin's Venus in the Cloister (1683), Jane Barker's The Lining of the Patch-work Screen (1726), and Eliza Haywood's Cleomira (1722) and Cleomelia (1727).
- A full range of works by John Cleland - including The Dictionary of Love (1753), Memoirs of a Coxcomb (1885) and Memoirs of Fanny Hill (1888) - depicting every type of sexual relationship.
- Writings by Diderot (including Les Bijoux Indiscrets and La Religieuse); Barbara Montague (A description of Millenium Hall); Eliza Jeary (Marina and Amelia); Charlotte Lennox; Elizabeth Steele; Pierre Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos; Elizabeth Rowe; Nicholas Chorier (Satyre sotadique); and others.
Parts 3 and 4: Erotica, 1650-1900, from the Private Case Collection at the British Library, London
Parts 3 & 4 are based on the Private Case collection at the British Library. They include:
- The Cabinet of Venus Unlocked (1657-58) by Sinibaldus (Giovanni Bendetto).
- L'escole des Filles (1668) by Michel Millot.
- Fifteen Real Comforts of Matrimony (1683).
- Fifteen Plagues of Maiden-Head (1707).
- Treatise on Hermaphrodites (1718) and The New Epicurean (1740).
- Therese Philosophe (1748) by Jean-Baptiste Argens.
- Errotika Biblion (1783).
- Justine and Histoire de Juliette (1794) by the Marquis de Sade.
- La Masturbomanie (1830).
- The Exhibition of Female Flagellants (1860).
- The Merry Order of St Bridget (1868).
- The Romance of Lust; or, Early Experiences (4 vols, 1873-76).
- The Boudoir: A Magazine of Scandal (1883)
- The Autobiography of a Flea (1887) and The Whippingham Papers (1888).
- My Secret Life (11 vols, 1890), reputed to be the autobiographical adventures of H Spencer Ashbee.
- The Pearl. A Journal of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading (3 vols, 1879-80).
- Confessions of Madame Vestris (1891).
- The Powers of Mesmerism (1891).
- Gynecocracy. A narrative of the adventures of Julian Robinson (3 vols, 1894).
- The memoirs of Jacques Casanova (12 vols, 1894).
- Lady Gay Spanker's Tales of Fun and Flagellation (1896).
- The Lysistrata of Aristophanesillustrated by Beardsley (1896).
- Forbidden Fruit (1898) and Private Letters from Phyllis to Marie (1898).
- My Married Life (1900)
- Les 120 Journées de Sodome (1904).