Sex manual banned in the UK for 200 years goes under the hammer

Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece.
Book: Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece's is up for sale.STV

A sex manual which was banned in the UK for almost 200 years is going up for auction.

Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece was first published around 1680 and was an early sex and pregnancy manual.

Banned from 1768 until the 1960s, it was considered "highly distasteful" in the way is described the best ways to conceive. Despite this, it was very popular and more editions were published than any other medical textbook during the 18th century.

A cutting from a 1930s newspaper advice column reportedly included a questions from the ready asking where they could buy the book and how much it would cost.

The reply was: "You may not buy a copy of Aristotle's Complete Masterpiece. You may expect to pay three-and-sixpence."

Simon Vickers from Lyon & Turnbull said: "Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece has very little at all to do with the Greek philosopher. In fact, first published in 1684, the book is an early manual of sex and pregnancy.

"The Master-Piece emphasises late seventeenth-century ideas surrounding female sexuality, especially the belief that it was beneficial for a woman to experience sexual desire in order to conceive.

"Drawing from the works of Nicholas Culpepper and Albertus Magnus, with a good dose of old wife's tale, there were more editions of this work published in the eighteenth-century than any other medical text. However, Aristotle's Compleat Master-Piece slowly began to be considered highly distasteful and even downright lewd and was banned in Britain until 1961."

The book will go under the hammer at Lyon & Turnbull’s book sale in Edinburgh on January 16 where it is expected to fetch £400.