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Deborah Lutz
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Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism

Deborah Lutz.
Publisher Norton  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 6 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780393068320
Pages/Publication Date 331/2011
Daedalus Item Code 23891
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In her smart, provocative account of the erotic undercurrent beneath the surface of Victorian London, Deborah Lutz reveals a daring group of artists and thinkers who defied propriety to explore their fascinations with sexual taboo, from homosexuality to the eroticization of death. Dante Gabriel Rossetti employed a prostitute to model as his "Mary Magdalene," and exhumed his dead wife to retrieve a manuscript of his poems from her coffin. Richard Burton wrote how-to manuals on sex positions and told stories of eroticism in the Middle East. Algernon Charles Swinburne visited flagellation brothels and wrote pornography amid his poetry. By embracing and exploring the forbidden, argues Lutz, these iconoclasts produced some of the most captivating art, literature, and ideas of their day.

"Lutz, a professor of Victorian literature and culture at Long Island University, explores that era as one of sexual and erotic experimentation.... Artists and writers produced sexually themed writing and painting that unsettled Victorians by evincing radical ideas about sexual freedom, women's rights, and religious doubt. Rossetti brought sensuality to his paintings of sickness and death. His devout yet daring sister Christina's work reforming prostitutes inspired her own lush sensual verse ... and Algernon Charles Swinburne published verse on hermaphrodites, bisexuals, sexual sadists, incest, and the femme fatale, and loved being flogged by prostitutes dressed as schoolmasters and mistresses.... This is a perceptive, thorough assessment of Victorian erotica and those defiant ones who crafted it."Publishers Weekly

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