The history of American erotica: the Falstaff and Panurge presses.

Curious Books by Panurge Press advertisement from the classic work on American erotica Bookleggers and Smuthounds by you.

Promotional page for Panurge Press, from Bookleggers and Smuthounds

In the history of American erotica there are two private press publishers of curiosa, Falstaff Press[1] and Panurge Press. Both are well-documented in Bookleggers and Smuthounds, both were at the hight of their activity in the 1930s.

Interestingly, both of the presses’ names are derived from male fictional characters, in the case of Falstaff described as “fat, vainglorious, cowardly, jolly knight” and in the case of Panurge as “an exceedingly crafty knave, a libertine, and a coward.”

Both cowards, both anti-heros. Falstaff as much as Panurge, very much in tune with American modernist literature.

Today, following my binge of French erotica, I’ve been busy researching the “also avaible from this publisher” page from The Erotic History of France[2] by by Henry L. Marchand, a Panurge book.

The Sotadic Zone by Sir Richard Burton, published by Panurge Press by you.

The Sotadic Zone by Sir Richard Burton, Panurge Press edition, image courtesy vintagesleaze, the site that lives up to its title.

Other publications of Panurge include The Sotadic Zone by Sir Richard Burton, here with an illustration courtesy of[3].