Pornography Part .5: Victorians Invented Pornography

When I wrote, yesterday, that Victorians invented pornography, I wrote a sideways truth.

Art and literature we call pornography today, existed long before Victoria, Albert and the Empire upon which the sun never set. Artistic treatments of explicit acts have been found among ancient cave paintings. Writers wrote erotica on clay tablets before the Egyptians painted hieroglyphics on tombs. Artistic interpretations of the human form and activity antedate Victorians but the Victorians made it dirty. They took a greek literary term meaning writings about harlots to label subject matter they deemed obscene and invented modern pornography.

Prior to condemning erotica, Victorian aristocrats and and nouveau-riche industrialists filled galleries and libraries with the stuff. To protect investments, pornography priced beyond the reach of the man on the street retained its status as art and being art, remained and remains social acceptable.

You can check my facts at Wikipedia tomorrow. Today Wikipedia are blacked out in protest of SOPA and PITA, bills that threaten to bring Victorian censorship to the Internet.

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