Every Woman’s Book ; or, What is Love? Containing most Important Instructions for the Prudent Regulation of the Principle of Love, and the Number of a Family
Richard Carlile: printer, publisher and notorious radical in nineteenth century England. Republished texts like Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man and Principles of Government in sections, in the form of small pamphlets that the poor could afford. Distributed radical texts and journals at an affordable price at a time when his government was targeting publishers, and spent some time in jail for seditious libel, as did his wife and then his sister, who each took over the press in succession after each was arrested for publishing the radical journal The Republican. He argued for universal suffrage, promoted atheism and campaigned against child labor. AND he wrote the aforementioned pamphlet, Every Woman’s Book ; or, What is Love? Containing most Important Instructions for the Prudent Regulation of the Principle of Love, and the Number of a Family.
Which was, in case you weren’t aware, the first little book in the English language frankly discussing the economic, social and medical aspects of birth control, as well as a progressive sex manual. Published in 1826, his book proposed that sex was a right of adulthood rather then a marital privilege; that sexual satisfaction was necessary to a person’s health and happiness; that sexual intercourse was a virtue and therefore a source of morality; and that men and women both had the same sexual needs and were therefore naturally equal.
His contemporaries called it: “a most obscenely indelicate work,…destructive to conjugal happiness, repulsive to the modest mind, equally of man or woman, and recommending the promiscuous intercourse of sexual prostitution.”
You can read the full scandalous text of his pamphlet online here.