My Secret Life: A Classic of Victorian Erotica (Paperback)
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My Secret Life Volumes I to III by An Anonymous Author Or Walter. Victorian Erotica: My Secret Life, by "Walter", is the memoir of a gentleman describing the author's sexual development and experiences in Victorian England. It was first published in a private edition of eleven volumes, at the expense of the author, including an imperfect index, which appeared over seven years beginning around 1888. The work itself is enormous, amounting to over one million words, the eleven original volumes amounting to over 4,000 pages. The text is repetitive and highly disorganised, but its frank discussion of sexual matters and other hidden aspects of Victorian life make it a rare and valuable social document. According to Steven Marcus, it is virtually the only source for information on London's houses of prostitution, in which Walter spent many hours. It has been described as "one of the strangest and most obsessive books ever written". I began these memoirs when about twenty-five years old, having from youth kept a diary of some sort, which perhaps from habit made me think of recording my inner and secret life. When I began it, I had scarcely read a baudy book, none of which excepting "Fanny Hill" appeared to me to be truthful, that did, and it does so still; the others telling of recherche eroticisms, or of inordinate copulative powers, of the strange twists, tricks, and fancies, of matured voluptuousness, and philosophical lewedness, seemed to my comparative ignorance, as baudy imaginings, or lying inventions, not worthy of belief; although I now know by experience, that they may be true enough, however eccentric, and improbable, they may appear to the uninitiated. Fanny Hill was a woman's experience. Written perhaps by a woman, where was a man's, written with equal truth? That book has no baudy word in it; but baudy acts need the baudy ejaculations; the erotic, full flavored expressions, which even the chastest indulge in, when lust, or love, is in its full tide of performance. So I determined to write my private life freely as to fact, and in the spirit of the lustful acts done by me, or witnessed; it is written therefore with absolute truth, and without any regard whatever for what the world calls decency. Decency and voluptuousness in its fullest acceptance, cannot exist together, one would kill the other; the poetry of copulation I have only experienced with a few women, which however neither prevented them, nor me from calling a spade, a spade.