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Ye olde Pulp Fiction

The Marquis de Sade had nothing on the eighteenth century collection of 'The Works of the Earls of Rochester and Roscommon', printed in 1714. No, we're not talking about a set of pot-boiler type poems that would have the average Georgian romp-starved housewife or parlour maid frothing at the mouth but because it contained within it some pornographic verses intended for use elsewhere.

It seems that a randy printer by the name of Edward Curll added the porno poems, under the collective title of 'The Cabinet of Love' - which deal with a number of illict subjects such as sex toys and condoms - to the edition at the time. Further editions of 'The Works' purposefully included this rude collection of verse which stood next to subjects of a more elevated level, the BBC reveals.

'Although the existence of The Cabinet is already known, it is the first time the success of The Works has been attributed to the bawdy poems. One ode tells of the public burning of sex toys after a ban of imported French goods, while The Discovery is about a man hiding in a woman's room to watch her masturbate in bed. Dr van Hensbergen found the collection while cataloguing an online index of poetic miscellanies for Oxford University.'

What a (bodice)ripping yarn!

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