[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Fanny Hill (1750) - John Cleland

1750s - early erotica - erotic fiction - British erotica

"[t]here alone she existed, all lost in those delirious transports, those extasies of the senses, which her winking eyes, the brighten'd vermilion of her lips and cheeks, and sighs of pleasure deeply fetched, so pathetically express'd. In short, she was now as mere a machine as much wrought on, and had her motions as little at her own command as the natural himself, who thus broke in upon her, made her feel with a vengeance his tempestuous tenderness, and the force of the mettle he battered with; their active loins quivered again with the violence of their conflict, till the surge of pleasure, foaming and raging to a height, drew down the pearly shower that was to allay this hurricane." --Fanny Hill

post-1964 cover of Fanny Hill
Image sourced here.

Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1749) - John Cleland [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Fanny Hill, also known as Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, is a novel by John Cleland.

Written in 1749 while Cleland was in debtor's prison in London, it is considered the first "erotic" novel and its publication caused a furor. Immediately upon its release, the Church of England asked the British Secretary of State to "stop the progress of this vile Book, which is an open insult upon Religion and good manners." As a result, Cleland was arrested and charged with "corrupting the King's subjects."

Nonetheless, copies of the book were sold "underground," and the book eventually made its way to the United States where, in 1821, it was banned for obscenity.

In 1963, G. B. Putnam published the book under the title John Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure which also was immediately banned for obscenity. The publisher challenged the ban in court.

In a landmark decision in 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Memoirs v. Massachusetts that the banned novel did not meet the Roth standard for obscenity.

Fanny Hill is still banned in Australia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill [Jan 2005]

From the publisher
Fanny Hill, shrouded in controversy for most of its more than 250-year life, and banned from publication in the United States until 1966, was once considered immoral and without literary merit, even earning its author a jail sentence for obscenity.

The tale of a naïve young prostitute in bawdy eighteenth-century London who slowly rises to respectability, the novel–and its popularity–endured many bannings and critics, and today Fanny Hill is considered an important piece of political parody and sexual philosophy on par with French libertine novels.

This uncensored version is set from the 1749 edition and includes commentary by Charles Rembar, the lawyer who defended the novel in the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case, and newly commissioned notes. --Book Description

Fanny Hill film adaptations

Fanny Hill book cover
image sourced here.

Fanny Hill (USA/West Germany, 1964) - Russ Meyer

Fanny Hill (Sweden, 1968) Mac Ahlberg

Fanny Hill (Italy, 1991) - Tinto Brass

Because of the book's notoriety (and public domain status), numerous film adaptations have been produced. Some of them are:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill [Aug 2005]

Sorry for the crappy video covers, although I do like the Paprika typeface. The point I wanted to make was that certain stories are more likely to be adapted and translated than others.

See also: 1700s - John Cleland - adaptation - erotic fiction - erotic film - Russ Meyer - Mac Ahlberg - Tinto Brass

Fanny (1980) - Erica Jong

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities” (Erica Jong)

Fanny (1980) - Erica Jong [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Erica Jong's 1980 novel Fanny purports to tell the story from Fanny's point of view, with Cleland as a character she complains fictionalized her life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill#Publishing_history [Aug 2005]

Erica (Mann) Jong (born March 26, 1942) is an American author and educator. Born in New York City, Jong graduated from Barnard College in 1963. She sometimes resides in Weston, Connecticut.

She is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (published in 1973), which created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman's sexual desires. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_Jong [Aug 2005]

See also: 1980 - erotic fiction - adaptation - USA

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications