Manual of Classical Erotology (De figuris veneris), Fred. Chas. Forberg (stated Julian Smithson M. A., and friends, 1884 [later pirated edition])
9.25″x6.25″, soft covers, xiii-248pp, poor+ condition, paper cover detached, internal pages holding.
This is a pirated edition of the first known English translation of this work. The original Julian Smithson edition was limited to 100 copies.
De figuris Veneris (On the figures of Venus) was an anthology of ancient Greek and ancient Roman writings on erotic topics, discussed objectively and classified and grouped by subject matter. It was first published by the German classicist Friedrich Karl Forberg in 1824 in Latin and Greek as a commentary to Antonio Beccadelli’s (1394-1471) Hermaphroditus (commonly referred to as Antonii Panormitae Hermaphroditus), an erotic poem sequence of 1425 in renaissance Latin, though it was later also published as a separate work.
In 1899 Forberg’s work was translated into English and published by Charles Carrington as De figuris Veneris, Manual of classical erotology, and again in 1907 by Charles Hirsch, and into French, German and Spanish. The French edition by Alcide Bonneau was titled Manuel d’érotologie classique. One French edition of 1906 was illustrated by Édouard-Henri Avril, which concludes with a list of 95 sexual positions. Most of the editions were restricted to high society or censored; one of the copies edited in France was immediately deposited on the secret shelves of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.