Friday, 14 September 2012

Frisky people!

Dorothee's been cooking up a treat.

While writing and researching for The Glass Harmonica, she kept coming across evidence that American forbears weren't the puritanical bunch it's often assumed. She told the Ashland Daily Tidings how she came across some erotic pictures in a history text. "'I was so astonished at how explicit the erotic art of the time was. I started calling rare-book libraries and asking if they had any smutty stuff. And they did.'"

 To make the most of the wealth of infomration, art, poetry and objects that came to light, Dorothee's created a media-enhanced ebook:  Such Were My Temptations: Bawdy Americans 1760-1830. "Loaded with poetry, prose and art, the e-book depicts this country's founding forefathers and foremothers as quite passionate …. It even includes an engraving of Benjamin Franklin and a lady friend having an intimate moment. While graphic in places, the e-book's aim is pleasantly academic rather than pornographic. It's smart, fun and challenges widely held assumptions."

With Such Were My Temptations, Dorothee pushes boundaries in her own right, expanding the definition of the book, adding dimension to the reading experience in ways only recently made possible. Rather than adding content just because it is technically possible to do so, Dorothee finds that sweet spot where content comes alive with new technology. One example is a polyamory poem, dry to read in early English. Such Were My Temptations presents a vivid video of the poem to help readers feel what that old word ‘ribald’ really means.

“Kocks leaves no stone unturned in upsetting today’s definition of 'Puritanical'. From political sex scandals to polyamorous poetry, New England’s first citizens evidently had plenty in common with today’s Americans. Those who think of the 1760s as an era of widespread chastity should brace themselves for surprise before reading Temptations.”  —The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction

To find Such Were My Temptations and more information run to

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