The realm of the erotic is that of sexual desire. In this work Jane Mills defines erotic in its widest possible sense, encompassing an astonishing range of writing, from comedy and farce to romance and lyricism, from the satirical and perverted to the sensuous and plain racy. Her selection of erotic prose, poetry and drama from around the world cuts across an extraordinary range of countries and cultures, making this guide unique. The extracts are arranged chronologically, from the literature of Ancient Sumeria to the present day, so the reader can trace both the constant themes and the changing perspectives of erotic literature through the centuries. Jane Mills shows how contemporary influences such as religion, censorship, politics and the changing role of women form the fascinating backdrop against which erotica can be read. In its time, for instance, Hamlet was considered risque, whereas some of the poetry of Aristophanes, which is mildly shocking even today, is tame by Ancient Greek standards.
Jane Mills is a writer and independent documentary film-maker, a member of the Executive Committee of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and Head of Documentary at the Northern media School, Sheffield Hallam University.show more