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The Pearl Paperback – September 29, 1996
Digging Into Literature
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As they say, there is something for everyone, and much that may not be of interest. The writing is varied...reflecting the different contributors, but uniformly well done. Often funny, frequently raunchy, mostly playful, The Pearl should be able to offer something you like if you have an interest in Victorian erotica.
The text follows the magazine format from which it was taken, so that the stories are arranged in installments that pick up and resume after other segments. This can be distracting if you particularly want to follow one thread, but not difficult once you get used to it. The "plots" are not significant, in any event. Great scenes of initiation into sex, voyeurism, and other delights. Interestingly, women seem to like this book (at least parts of it) which is not a given with its successors. My partner loves the scenes of blushing young maidens being initiated by a strapping youth beside a meadow fence, and the like.
This is a tome you will mark up for re-reading favorite passages. Get it even if you don't like mild S&M, incest, and punishment...you can skip those sections. As you get to know later examples of the Victorian genre, you will never lose your fondness for the original article.
It has SM, Gay ,Pedophilia, Orgies, and hundreds of ordinary sex descriptions, pregnant , lesbian homosexual boy-boy , girl-girl, man-boy , woman-girl and many more!
THE PEARL wasn't originally a book, but rather an underground men's magazine, the publication of which spanned the 18 months from July 1879 to December 1880, when it ceased publication. Considered the height of scandalous in its day, THE PEARL strikes the modern reader of erotica, densensitized by a deluge of visual images on the Net and by the open publication of "Forum"-type writings, as rather quaint in its restraint.
Still, THE PEARL is undeniably erotic, and must have had the upper-crust ladies (and a few of the men) of Victorian England blushing mightily and breathing hard as it was read by them or to them by their lovers and/or spouses.
What strikes the modern reader is the quality and the precision of the writing, which is topnotch, graphically imaginative, and designed to titillate. THE PEARL consists of a number of serialized novelettes (the aforementioned "Sub-Umbra" and the delightful tale retold in "Miss Coote's Confession" among them), random short stories, the obligatory letters from readers section, and ribald limericks and poems. If you need some new blue jokes, THE PEARL's a treasure-trove.
Much of this material has seen print in the "Ribald Classics" section of a modern major men's magazine and elsewhere over the decades. Both as an historical artifact and as an omnibus of classic adult entertainment, every serious adult reader should own a copy.
By today's "standards" (now *there's* an oxymoron), the erotica in the Pearl is pretty tame, almost innocent. However, most of it is carried off with a certain witty, genteel, Oscar Wilde-ian elegance to the whole enterprise that's sadly lacking in what passes for "erotic fiction" in the 21st century - stuff you wouldn't read with a haz-mat suit on. In the Pearl, you can see where Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence might have taken some of their "cues" for the "juicier" parts of their more literary novels. Some of the stories are sexist. But that's the way people evidently thought, then. We had to wait another generation or two before Anais Nin and, later, Erica Jong could speak for a freer generation of women. So from a purely historical perspective, the Pearl is worth reading, if not owning. It's a more of a "mile post" in many readers' careers, something one passes and soon forgets after a certain young age.
The collections of limericks interspersed between the serialized "stories" are actually the most entertaining part of the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book's a classic! I don't know how I got a hold of a copy when I was a kid, but it's just like I remembered! Naughty! Verry naughty! lol! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Doc MOJOMAN
Interesting book.. those naughty Victorians! Super fast shipping and book was in excellent condition! Thank you!Published 8 months ago by Christine Hill
The classic Victorian erotic story originally printed as a serial in an underground newspaper. The language is dated and quaint but that's part of its charm. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Shivas Irons
A classic in the genre. First read over 40 years ago, and still is a good read about the eroticism of the 18th & 19th centuries. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I read this unique Victorian erotic volume in Dublin, Ireland. I consider myself to have hit a home run when having a cocktail in the lounge and browsing a shelf of books left by... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dawn D. Kunda