Fanny Hill (Illustrated)
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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure has become popularly known as Fanny Hill. It was written in 1748, while John Cleland was in debtors' prison in London. The book is written in the first person, in the form of two Letters, and describes a young woman's sexual exploits from loss of virginity through enthusiastic participation in explicit detail. It is considered the original English prose erotic novel. The book was published in two installments, presumably the first Letter followed by the second. The British government did not react until a year after the first installment was published, and then charged the author and publisher with "corrupting the King's subjects." In court, the author renounced the novel and it was withdrawn from publication. In 1821, an edition of Fanny Hill published in England was officially banned in the United States by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It was not officially published in the U.S. until 1963, and was immediately again banned in Massachusetts. In 1963, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the book did not meet obscenity standards. This edition of the book contains ten erotica illustrations from around the world, unique to this edition.