Instrument Of Pleasure (Panther Original 1974)
I am a woman who for many years has attuned all her senses to one end—that my life should be a rich and tingling concerto of those pleasures so long and coyly called libertine. I believe that you must learn the scales of lust before you can orchestrate the symphonies of love. So listen, dear reader, to Celeste's lesson, since I am convinced that for you as for me, the rhythms of the racing blood, the groans of passion, the creaking bed-springs, or a lover's whispers, are the sweetest music in the world...'
Thus speaks the notorious Celeste Piano, a femme du monde with a world of wicked experiences to share.
“I hear you are responsible for an immortal work Instrument of Pleasure. It sounds terrific and just the thing for me” [Paul Roche]
“It may perhaps surprise you to learn that I think this book is too strong for New English Library” [letter from NEL to my then literary agent, who tried just 5 publishers with the MS.]
“I enclose a copy of NEL’s rejection, which is typical. All I can say, I think, is that you missed the boat on this. Had I known you were embarking on this book I’d probably have tried to dissuade you…”[letter from the same agent to me]
“Unfortunately this is not suitable for our list”[letter from Olympia Press to a young publisher, Anthony Cheetham – then acting informally on my behalf. Cheetham noted: “Since they had the book under consideration for close on two years, they must have found it very difficult to make up their minds!”]
There were no reviews anywhere, but despite this, the novel – intended as a sort of comedic documentary and/or parody of the erotic memoirs genre – must have fruitfully offended, if not amused, to some significant degree, since it was thereafter reprinted in turn by Star/W.H.Allen in 1985, and by Nexus in 1985, 1989 and 1992. It was also published in 1989 in the USA and translated into Polish!