Harry Sidney Nichols

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Harry Sidney Nichols (died 1939) was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, son of a "Glass Merchant". He was an antiquarian book dealer, but he made his fortune as a Sheffield publisher and printer of high-end erotica in partnership with Leonard Smithers which included such works as Sir Richard Francis Burton's translation of the Book of One Thousand and One Nights. In 1888 they formed the "Erotika Biblion Society", for which Smithers acted as printer.[1][2][3] Under threat of arrest under strict Victorian pornography laws, Nichols went into exile in Paris from 1900 to 1908, publishing by mail-order to England.[4] In 1908 Nichols, being threatened with extradition, migrated to New York City. His mistress, "Dolly", pregnant with twin daughters, Aimee and Marcia, followed him shortly. Nichols continued to publish erotica until 1939, when he was committed to Bellevue Mental Hospital, where he died soon after.


  1. ^ Nelson (2000) p.28
  2. ^ Jon R. Godsall, The Tangled Web: A Life of Sir Richard Burton, Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2008, ISBN 1-906510-42-3, p. 396
  3. ^ Patrick J. Kearney, A history of erotic literature, Macmillan, 1982, ISBN 0-333-34126-0, pp. 151–153
  4. ^ Deana Heath (2010). Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India and Australia. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0-521-19435-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • James G. Nelson, Publisher to the Decadents: Leonard Smithers in the Careers of Beardsley, Wilde, Dowson, Rivendale Press, 2000, ISBN 0-953503-38-0

External links[edit]