Joanna here, taking about dirty books available in the Regency because some of you have gray weather outside and you may need cheering up.
What it is … I’m going to argue that our rakish heroes would have read erotic books. It’s human. It’s manly. It would help make them good lovers.
I think some of my favorite Regency heroines did the reading, too.
Perhaps not my own characters, who seem to have tough childhoods for some reason,
but those dashing, brave and wise women who live on my Keeper Shelf. I think they read erotic books.
I see a heroine at ten or twelve, creeping into the library and sneaking a peek at the Song of Songs. They’ve heard about it . . . Maybe it’s the heroine and a few choice friends. Maybe they’re giggling. Maybe just puzzled.
I picture them reading,
“I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field;
let us lodge in the villages.
Let us get up early to the vineyards;
let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth:
there will I give thee my love.”
The heroine looks over at Sukey the maid and Jenny who lives in the house next door and says plaintively, “But what does that mean?”
“It’s symbolic,” Jenny says.