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The Pearl

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Among the first "Journals of Voluptuous Reading" to be spawned by the Victorians, this novel shows them as vastly different from their public image--beneath the facade of respectability and sexual repression there existed the strongest urge for sexual experimentation and enjoyment. First published in London in July 1879, The Pearl provided unrestrained erotica for every ta ...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published September 29th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1879)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 13, 2013 Denise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: klassix
The five stars is for its sheer INTERESTING-NESS, not really for the stories or writing quality. A fascinating historical artifact, giving startlingly concise evidence to "nothing new under the sun." I have fond memories of library coworker-friends passing our library's copy around for shock and giggles!
This is very much an adult book, as it very naughty indeed. Supposedly a collection of a series of underground Victorian magazines, it is basically porn with no pictures.

I think it was probably written by a man or men, though who knows? It describes in detail and graphic language sexual encounters of many kinds, and is probably the result of someone’s fantasies rather than anything based in fact – but perhaps I have just led a sheltered life.

There are a few serial stories, as well as poems and o
Apr 13, 2008 Flora rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-to-say
This book (a compilation of issues of an underground Victorian "literary porn" periodical)scared the crap out of me when I discovered it on my parents' bookshelf at the age of nine or ten, but when I happened on it again, many years later, I think I got it as I should: as hysterical, in more ways than one. This book is hilarious, outrageous, and yes, not a little creepy -- and what I want to know, more than anything else, is, "Who the hell was *writing* this, and how did they get the job?" (The ...more
Katharine Holden
Dec 28, 2010 Katharine Holden rated it did not like it
The first few pages are nothing but rather silly and harmless soft porn in Victorian English. But then it gets foul and offensive. There is an emphasis on loss-of-virginity scenes in which the woman experiences excruciating pain, becomes unconscious and has to be revived with brandy, and then is immeasurably grateful for the experience. By the middle of the book fathers seduce teenage daughters and their sexual experiences are described in great detail. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

I have great respect f
Danielle Hartshorn
Jul 01, 2012 Danielle Hartshorn rated it it was amazing
Classic underground Victorian erotica.
Jul 12, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Very educational. Will give insight into the sexual naivety of the Victorian Age. Be prepared to giggle at the flowery language, and roll your eyes at the way women are degraded. Definitely more for the history major than for the erotica junkee.
K.D. McQuain
Mar 08, 2014 K.D. McQuain rated it liked it
Shelves: erotic
I read this as a teenager, late at night, sneaking it out of my aunt's paperback collection. As I recall, it wasn't very good, but I still remember having read it all these years later.
Is it a trend with erotica from this time period to be obsessed with birching? There's a lot of that in this. Also a lot of non-con situations, which seems another trend of this period. So. Warnings for the modern reader: birching/whipping, non-con/rape, underage, gore, incest, racism, kidnapping ... There are a lot of warnings is what I'm saying. It's not de Sade by any means, but the author(s) of this erotica was/were kind of out there.

The Pearl, in its Kindle Edition at least, is the compilat
Interesting, as long as you keep in mind the period it was written in. This Dutch translation, De parel : verboden verhalen, contains four stories originally published in the Victorian magazine The Pearl.

For a more elaborate review, in Dutch, see Foreign fiction translated into Dutch/Flemish
Jun 16, 2009 Randy rated it really liked it
Not a real tight read as it is a collection but very different to see the perverted frolics of aristocrats and country cousins. If the actions of the characters were tied into reality, Englands population would be much larger.

Getting some detailed background on this collection would be historically interesting.
Apr 21, 2008 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
victorian erotica
James Butler
Mar 20, 2014 James Butler rated it it was amazing
Bought this book at a porn book store in Times Square back in 1972. Everyone snickered at it when they took it off my bookshelf, but they all had a good look-through!
Nov 13, 2007 Julia rated it liked it
The "dirty" book that got passed around during 8th grade after we had graduated from "Forever."
Jul 19, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it
read this years ago and really enjoyed at the time lol
Mar 27, 2009 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, erotica
Great book, with lots of variety.
ddsdf e eewrrr
Apr 30, 2009 Lani rated it really liked it
Juvenile & perverse, in stilted, archaic language, but it's an excellent reminder that there's nothing new under the sun.
Feb 20, 2015 Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic. One of my favourites. Read when I was a teen and have re read several times since.
Jul 13, 2008 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
read at 14
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