|01-29-2008, 10:16 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
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Aristotle (Pseudo-): The Works of Aristotle, v.1, 30 Jan 2008.
Containing his Complete Masterpiece and Family Physician; his Experienced Midwife, his Book of Problems and his Remarks on Physiognomy.
A spurious work, which I collected from Project Gutenberg. The file is big because of the illustrations. Contains several works on sex and gynaecology, plus physiognomy and palmistry.
Aristotle's Masterpiece, a manual of sex and pregnancy, first saw the light of day about 1680. It is not, of course, the work of the ancient Greek philosopher, but its true authorship is unclear: the name of William Salmon has been suggested. Other works by the same or other hands were accreted to the original "Masterpiece" until by about 1735 the four parts here published made up the canon. Banned in Britain until the 1960's, it nonetheless has had a long but mostly clandestine career as a quasi-pornographic book. Grubby copies were produced in back-street printers, sold in rubber-goods shops or Holywell Street, and passed from hand to hand until they disintegrated. Many young boys got their first inklings of sex from it. It was also sometimes given by their mothers to women about to get married; the effect it had on the mind of a virgin bride can only be conjectured. It has been read (or at any rate mentioned) by James Joyce, William Carleton, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Burgess and many others, and probably has had more influence than is realized.
Quotations about the Book:
Mr. Bloom turned over idly pages of . . . . Aristotle's Masterpiece. Crooked botched print. Plates: infants cuddled in a ball in bloodred wombs like livers of slaughtered cows.
-- James Joyce, Ulysses.
'Now then, what's this about books?' said the chief [Customs officer].
With the help of a printed list (which began 'Aristotle, Works of (Illustrated)') they went through Adam's books, laboriously, one at a time, spelling out the titles.
-- Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies..
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