Thank you for not just those immernsely kind words, but for giving me an excuse to introduce readers to The Pearl. For those who haven’t encountered it, The Pearl was a 19th century periodical of erotica – and here’s an archive of what it published, before it was abruptly shut down by prudish Victorian authorities almost 150 years ago.
Some of its posts are very lewd, some are unexpectedly erudite, probably reflecting the diversity of sexualities of those who wrote for it. As Wikipedia explains: “the general format of the periodical was to publish three serial erotic tales simultaneously, devoted to sex in high society, incest, and flagellation, respectively.”
High society sex is an interesting reflection of the Victorian class obsessions, whilst incest is one of those transgressive taboos that also features in the French erotic book The Young Girls’ Handbook of Good Manners, written a few decades later. And spanking and flogging were just as popular in Victorian days as they are now.
Perhaps you’ll see a certain formality in Victorian erotic writing, an appreciation of process, of scene and character. All attributes that I value in storytelling, which lead to that teasing sense of anticipation that I hope I’ve been able to capture in my own writing.
I encourage interested readers to explore, who knows what you’ll uncover in the dusty musty archives of the internet, an infinite library with no shelves, which our Victorian ancestors would have loved deeply indeed.