If you like your erotic entertainment as indirect and slyly evasive as possible, you’re in for a treat. The new adaptation of Fanny Hill has just hit our screens (well, BBC4), brought to us by bodice-ripper-in-chief Andrew Davies.
Davies, the man who puts the phwoar into period drama, is best known for scripting that Colin-Firth-as-Darcy-in-wet-breeches scene – a moment that seems to perform for many women the same function as the Princess-Leia-in-golden-bikini scene does for males of a certain age.
Fanny Hill, the “memoirs of a woman of pleasure”, is full of explicit sexual action – no fewer than 39 different positions and situations, according to one estimate. Yet author John Cleland’s language is a masterpiece of sustained euphemism. Sample: “His breeches, before loosen’d, now gave up their contents to view, and shew’d in front the enemy I had to engage with…” Or again: "What floods of bliss! What melting transports! What agonies of delight!" We get it and so does Fanny (frequently).
If, however, you like your sex raunchier and rather more overstated, you are referred to Andrew Davies’ own novel, Dirty Faxes, a saga of sexual obsession that’s a rollicking good read.
(Image: from YouTube)