"Pride and Promiscuity" purports, jokingly, to be a collection of the lost sex scenes from Jane Austen's novels; scenes she had been forced to excise by her prudish publishers. In my best Victorian manner I was not amused, but I read it anyway. Because, you know, my husband would have been offended if I hadn't. And for research. Of course.
"Pride and Promiscuity" is actually much better than it sounds. It is written by a true Austen devotee, and Eckstut's writing perfectly imitates Jane Austen's own style. It's really quite good fun.
One or two of the chapters in the book seemed more far-fetched than others, however; particularly "Jane at Netherfield", during which Jane Bennet, while staying at Netherfield, is visited during the night by both Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst. Their object is to ascertain whether Jane would be able to "satisfy" their brother, should they marry. I was greatly amused by the unlikeliness of the following passage:
At one point their introduction of a curiously-shaped carved wooden object into the evening's diversions aroused the most strenuous expressions of concern from Jane; but her objections were quickly silenced by the application of the experienced and skillful hands of Mrs Hurst.
Oh honestly, thought I, a wooden dildo? In Regency times? Ridiculous.
How naive am I? The lovely Elizabeth Chadwick, @chadwickauthor on Twitter, tweeted this article this morning, about an auction of two hundred year old wooden sex toys. One phallus measures 10 inches with testicles, the other 11 inches without testicles. Wow.
I've led such a sheltered life. I blame it on the nuns. Comments? Or are you all stunned into silence?