Memoirs of Fanny Hill, by John Cleland (Privately Printed for Nafkeh Publications, nd [1940s?])
5.5″x5.25″, 208pp, softbound in light green, title on cover and spine, illustrated throughout,the first 7 illustrations are somewhat cartoonish and humorous, the last 6 are differnet and signed “PIZAN”, good condition for age, some bumps, tears, and soiling to cover, internal pages good.
Written while the author was in debtor’s prison in London and first published in 1749, Fanny Hill is considered the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel. One of the most prosecuted and banned books in history, it has become a synonym for obscenity.
Nafkeh Publications was Louis Shomer, who published the American Ethnological Press in the 1930s. Nafkeh is Yiddish for “prostitute”. Louis Shomer was a a gadfly book trade personality and publisher of a line of cheap pamphlet-sized jokebooks, and possibly tijuana bibles in the 30-40s. He is chiefly remembered today for testifying against Ben Rebhuhn at the Falstaff Press pornography trial and as the author of a manual of tap-dancing.