Oct 10, 2008, 08:43AM

"Great Moments in Literary Sex"

That about says it all, right? If you like your anecdotes musty and ribald...

* D.H. Lawrence: An apothecary's wife told her friend about sex with the author of "Lady Chatterley's Lover": "I had to. He was over at our house struggling with a poem he couldn't finish. So I took him upstairs and gave him sex. He came downstairs and finished the poem."

* Edith Wharton: Up until her wedding day, Edith Wharton was ignorant of sex, and it didn't help that her mother emphatically refused to discuss the subject. When she worked up the nerve to ask, a few days before the ceremony, her response was "I never heard such a ridiculous question!"

Unfortunately for Edith, her sexual life with Teddy Wharton was a disaster. Her marriage was unconsummated for several weeks, and when it was, she wrote that sex between them was "agonized." In fact, it wasn't until 20 years later that Wharton learned what the fuss was all about.

* Leo Tolstoy: A line in his diary he wrote 60 years ago came back to haunt him. Four months before his death in 1910, his wife discovered his secret diaries and read aloud to him: "I have never been in love with women . . . I have fallen in love with men very often."


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