[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Merryland (1740) - Thomas Stretzer

1700s literature - early erotica - erotic fiction - British erotica - Edmund Curll - metaphor - 1740s

Merryland (1740) - Thomas Stretzer
Image sourced here.
Edition shown: NY: Robin Hood House (1932)

Her valleys are like Eden, her hills like Lebanon, she is a paradise of pleasure and a garden of delight


An early novel, Merryland (1740), "a fruitful and delicious country," by the pseudonymous Thomas Stretzer, depicted the female body as a landscape that men explore, till, and plow. For example, he writes: "Her valleys are like Eden, her hills like Lebanon, she is a paradise of pleasure and a garden of delight." Sometimes, the metaphor of female form = landscape changes, but the objectification of the female body remains intact; only the image is changed, as when, for example, in another passage, the novel's narrator, Roger Pheuquewell, describes Utrs (a "great treasury or storehouse") as resembling "one of our common pint bottles, with the neck downwards." Similarly, in Charles Cotton's Erotopolis: The Present State of Bettyland, the female body is an island farmed by men. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merryland [Jun 2006]

This poetic praise by the pseudonymous Thomas Stretzer may sound like any other earth-troping colonization of womanhood similar to John Donne’s well-known characterization of his mistress; Oh "my America, my new-found-land!" Those familiar with Merryland (published in 1740) and indeed, with a whole tradition of what Darby Lewes has dubbed somatopias (texts composed of, or designed for the body), will recognize in these words the embarrassingly facile puns of female landscaping metaphors that treat woman as so much ground to till, as so much earth to exploit. Certainly, Stretzer’s Merryland—both composed of and designed for bodies—offers up a fertile pornocopia for male corporeal pleasures based on exposed, accessible female body parts. --http://www.specmind.com/vixen/geography_of_desire.htm [Sept 2005]

The geographical metaphor is represented by among others Thomas Stretzers New Description of Merryland (1740). Such works discuss the harbours, bays, creeks, roads, clothing and, when the metaphor is exhausted, the ‘history of the gallantries’ of ‘Bettyland’ and ‘Merryland’. The botanical metaphor is represented by The Arbor VitŠ, or, Tree of Life (1732), The Frutex Vulvaria or Flowering Shrub (1732); and The Teague-Root Botanically Considered (1745). --http://www.pickeringchatto.com/erotica.htm [Sept 2005]

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications