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17th century British porn to be auctioned
Updated: 2004-11-27 09:30

The world's first known piece of printed pornography, described as the "quintessence of debauchery," is expected to reach up to 35,000 pounds ($65,040) when it is auctioned next month.

"Sodom," penned in the mid-1670s, has been attributed to John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester and is described by auction house Sotheby's as a "closet drama rather than for the stage" with pornography "in almost every line."

"We believe this is the first printed pornography in English literature, a unique copy of the quintessence of debauchery," Peter Beal, Sotheby's book specialist said.

"It is one of the most notorious publications in literature and makes most pornography written 300 years later seem tame."

The book centers on the decision made by a lustful King to "set the nation free" by allowing "buggary" to be "used thro' all the land" and then details the dire consequences.

The book, the only surviving copy, will be auctioned on December 16.

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