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.
'Fanny Hill' scandalised thousands of Victorians with its vivid descriptions of sexual pleasure, and landed its author in court a year after publication on charges of 'corrupting the King's subjects'. This only heightened its allure - and today it is still hugely appreciated as a work of true erotic and literary merit.
Forced by the death of her parents to seek her fortune in London, Fanny Hill is duped into prostitution by an old procuress. In Mrs Brown's bawdy-house the naïve young woman begins her sexual initiation - progressing from innocence to curiosity and desire - and soon embarks on her own path in pursuit of pleasure, until she at last finds true love. John Cleland's story of Fanny's rise to respectability was denounced after its publication by the then Bishop of London as 'an open insult upon Religion and good manners', while James Boswell called it 'a most licentious and inflaming book'. But beside its highly entertaining and boisterous depictions of a startling variety of sexual acts, Fanny Hill stands as one of the great works of eighteenth-century fiction for its unique combination of parody, erotica and philosophy of sensuality.
Extrait : "La vérité, là vérité toute nue guidera ma plume. Je ne prendrai même pas la peine de couvrir de la plus légère gaze mes crayons ; je peindrai les choses d'après nature, sans crainte de violer les lois de la décence, qui ne sont pas faites pour des personnes aussi intimement amies que nous. D'ailleurs, vous avez une connaissance trop consommée des plaisirs réels pour que leur peinture vous scandalise."
À PROPOS DES ÉDITIONS LIGARAN :
Les éditions LIGARAN proposent des versions numériques de grands classiques de la littérature ainsi que des livres rares, dans les domaines suivants :
o Fiction : roman, poésie, théâtre, jeunesse, policier, libertin.
o Non fiction : histoire, essais, biographies, pratiques.