Pleasures of Cruelty

~ First published in 1886

The Pleasures of Cruelty is a sequel to the reading of Justine and Juliette by The Marquis de Sade, it was published by William Lazenby in 1886 and holds three volumes. It was reissued in 1898 by Leonard Smithers and Duringe. In 1930 another publication was made, then there seems to have been a U.S clandestine piracy from the 1930's as well. All of this makes it really difficult to determine (with online as my only research) which artworks belong to which publication date.

The Pleasures of Cruelty is one of the darkest Victorian flagellant novels, reveling in cruelty, degradation, and the pleasures of the rod. An extract entitled 'The Sultan's Reverie' was published in William Lazenby's underground periodical The Pearl: A Journal of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading (nr. 18).

The author is unknown but it has been conjectured that The Pleasures of Cruelty was written by General Studholme Hodgson or another member (or members) of the flagellant circle that flourished around Richard Monckton-Milnes, Lord Houghton. 

The 1930 edition is illustrated with a Frontispiece and 7 full page illustrations from unknown artist, this is probably the clandestine publication from the U.S, this one is featured in the gallery below. I also found a few colored artworks, that could be from an earlier publication but so far I was unable to find any info for these artworks.
Recently I found a few colored artworks, that also seem to belong to a 1930 publication which according to the auction site has 19 illustrations, unfortunately I only found 3.

In the anonymous illustrated books gallery you can find the gallery Danse Madame Birchini , notice how one artwork is almost identical as one from the 1930 edition.

2 albums/12 artworks

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Karen Smits

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