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The intelligence and casually flamboyant virtuosity with which he framed his often humorous commentaries on human behaviour made his work invariably entertaining and interesting.

The irreverent eroticism for which his poetry is noted resulted in W H Smith's banning of his "The Pleasures of the Flesh" (1966) from their shops.

During the Renaissance period, many poems were not written for publication; instead, they were merely circulated in manuscript form among a relatively limited readership.

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This poem was being censored from collections of Rochester's poetry as late as 1953, though, in line with a general change in attitudes to sexuality, it was dramatised as a scene in the film The Libertine about his life based on an existing play. A famous collection of four erotic poems, was published in England in 1763, called An Essay on Woman.

English collections of erotic verse by various hands, include the Drollery collections of the 17th century; Pills to Purge Melancholy (1698–1720); the Roxburghe Ballads; Bishop Percy's Folio; The Musical Miscellany; National Ballad and Song: Merry Songs and Ballads Prior to the Year AD 1800 (1895-7) edited by J. Farmer; the three volume Poetica Erotica (1921) and its more obscene supplement the Immortalia (1927) both edited by T. This included the title piece, an obscene parody of Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Man"; "Veni Creator: or, The Maid's Prayer", which is original; the "Universal Prayer", an obscene parody of Pope's poem of the same name, and "The Dying Lover to his Prick", which parodies "A Dying Christian to his Soul" by Pope.

In the 17th century, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647–80) was notorious for obscene verses, many of which were published posthumously in compendiums of poetry by him and other Restoration rakes such as Sir Charles Sedley, Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, and George Etherege.

Though many of the poems attributed to Rochester were actually by other authors, his reputation as a libertine was such that his name was used as a selling point by publishers of collections of erotic verse for centuries after.

Donald Thomas has translated L'École des filles, as The School of Venus, (1972), described on its back cover as "both an uninhibited manual of sexual technique and an erotic masterpiece of the first order".

Chorier's Dialogues of Luisa Sigea goes a bit further than its predecessors in this genre and has the older female giving practical instruction of a lesbian nature to the younger woman plus recommending the spiritual and erotic benefits of a flogging from willing members of the holy orders.

"The Noble Englishman" and "Don't Look at Me" were removed from the official edition of Pansies on the grounds of obscenity; Lawrence felt wounded by this.

From the age of 17, Gavin Ewart acquired a reputation for wit and accomplishment through such works as "Phallus in Wonderland" and "Poems and Songs", which appeared in 1939 and was his first collection.

These poems have been attributed to John Wilkes and/or Thomas Potter and receive the distinction of being the only works of erotic literature ever read out loud, in their entirety in the House of Lords—before being declared obscene and blasphemous by that august body and the supposed author, Wilkes, declared an outlaw.

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