The Good Ship Venus

The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press















by John De St Jorre. Pimlico, an imprint of Random House, London, 1995. Section of B&W photos in a center section of the book. Oversized trade paperback. 332 pages.

 This is an in-depth history of a pornographic publisher. That might be enough to discourage a few readers ... until you realize WHO and WHAT was being published for the first time. Radclyffe Hall's Well of Loneliness, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, Anne Desclos (writing under the name Dominique Aury) and her famous Story of O, J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Samuel Beckett's I Can't Go On and other stories, William Burrough's The Naked Lunch, and on and on.

Whether you think of these folks as a bunch of dirty people who published dirty books, or a group of dedicated individuals advancing free speech worldwide, one thing is for certain. They changed the face of publishing forever.

Personally, I found this to be an absolutely fascinating book. I highly recommend it.