The Kamasutra was written in northern India in the third century AD, when erotic culture lay at the heart of an exquisite civilization. The Book of Love is a unique portrait of this sensuous era, evoking the world of the pleasure-seeking men - and women - for whom the book was written.
It is also the story of the West's discovery of the Kamasutra: how the last surviving manuscripts were tracked down in India by visionary Victorian scholars, and painstakingly translated. It exposes how, with the help of a clandestine coterie of sexual experimenters and iconoclasts, the outrageous explorer Richard Burton unleashed this shocking volume on English society in an attempt to start a revolution. The Book of Love then follows the Kamasutra underground, revealing how it was forced into the hands of pirate pornographers before being thrust once more into the daylight in the wake of the publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover.
In this marvellous work, James McConnachie tells the story of the life of a book, of how something as fragile as an idea and a way of seeing the world can be cradled between hard covers - and survive.