We love old books here at the Jane Austen News, but this week we came across an example of a highly unusual one up for auction that might have raised a few eyebrows in the Austen household.
A 300-year-old sex manual which was as good as banned until the 1960s because of its shocking content (though we hasten to add that by today’s standards it’s not nearly so shocking) has sold for £3,100. An astounding sum considering that its guide price was just £80-£120!
The 1720 book titled Aristotle’s Masterpiece Completed In Two Parts, The First Containing the Secrets of Generation – contains a range of bizarre advice.
Some of the strange pieces of advice within the manual include:
- Don’t lie with beasts – lest you wish to run the risk of giving birth to monsters
- During sex women should “earnestly look upon the man and fix her mind upon him”. Then the child will resemble its father.
- Want a girl? After sex, a prospective mother should lie on her left. For a boy, she should lie on her right.
- Don’t rush off – “When they have done what nature can require, a man must have a care he does not part too soon from the embraces of his wife”.