Acclaimed biographer Ian Gibson has created an engrossing portrait of Henry Spencer Ashbee, a man who happily supported his unsuspecting wife and four children, but spent his spare time methodically cataloguing such risque titles as The Story of a Dildoe and The Marchioness's Amorous Pastimes." With exclusive access to Ashbee's diaries and to his family's archives, Gibson has uncovered evidence that Ashbee may have been the author of the notorious My Secret Life - the 'true' autobiography of an unnamed Victorian gentleman who 'enjoys many females, and narrates in the most painstaking manner their habits, customs and modes of sexual pleasure'. In The Erotomaniac Ian Gibson explores Ashbee's own secret life. The result is a fascinating portrait of a Victorian who seems to typify his age in all its curiosity, repression and subverted desire.
Faber and Faber, 2001. ISBN: 9780571196197. 256 pp.Hardcover. Fine in a fine jacket.
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