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Nights of Passion

boundvalentineby C. Margery Kempe

I got a chuckle on Valentine’s Day when a Facebook friend posted this cute vintage valentine. Of course a lot of people were snickering at the thought of this kinky little bit of fun. Cat Johnson commented on ‘the good old days of innocence’ too.

But I’ve seen a lot of vintage erotic postcards that show there was no more innocence about bondage and fetishes in the ‘good old days’ than there was now.

While the history of erotic fiction stretches back before literature – before words – this 18th Century novel offers a good starting point for readers because it has such a modern tone. The poetry of the ancient world, whether Ovid’s sensual tales or the Song of Solomon’s caressing lines, require the additional skill of reading poetry, so neglected in our time.  The frank sexuality of medieval authors like Chaucer, Boccaccio and…

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