Allen Edwardes

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Allen Edwardes is the pen-name of a scholar of Middle Eastern and Oriental erotica. He is best known as the author of the 1959 book The Jewel in the Lotus, the introduction to which was written by the noted sexologist and prolific writer, Albert Ellis. The book, named after a famous mantra, is an amassment of sexual curiosities apparently plucked from a variety of ethnographical and orientalist sources. Throughout the book, one finds a plethora of uncontrolled generalizations concerning the sexual behaviour of non-western populations. Doubt has been cast on the sincerity of its scholarship. A recent study accuses the author of "more than a touch of prurience," and warns that "the guise of orientalist scholarship clearly gives Edwardes leeway to express a surfeit of subconscious homoerotic phantasy."[1] As such, the book is a curious and highly specific example of a more general tendency in Western scholarship—or, in this case, rather pseudo-scholarship—which has been criticized as 'Orientalism' (Edward Said).

Edwardes, who was born in 1939 and was also known as D. A. Kinsley, wrote a number of other books as well, including racy biographies of Robert Clive and Richard Francis Burton. Kirkus Reviews judged the latter book, published in 1963, to be "for sensation seekers and pseudo-intellectuals".[2]


  • The Jewel in the Lotus: A historical survey of the sexual culture in the East (ISBN 978-0-553-10289-5)
  • The Cradle of Erotica: A study of Afro-Asian sexual expression and an analysis of erotic freedom in social relationships, with R. E. L. Masters. New York: The Julian Press, 1963
  • The Rape of India. A biography of Robert Clive and a sexual history of the conquest of Hindustan (OCLC 275089)
  • Erotica Judaica : a sexual history of the Jews (OCLC 2383749)
  • Death Rides a Camel : A biography of Sir Richard Burton


  1. ^ Boone 2001: 53
  2. ^ "Death Rides a Camel (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 


  • Joseph Boone, "Vacation Cruises; or, the Homoerotics of Orientalism", in: John C. Hawley ed., Postcolonial, Queer: Theoretical Intersections. SUNY Press 2001.