There have been many editions of the Kama Sutra, but none more vividly imagined as through the work of award-winning artist Victo Ngai which now appears exclusively for The Folio Society. Each full-colour illustration weaves an intricate story and tantalises with erotic suggestion.
There are also 25 stunning black and white interpretations of sexual positions by Ngai peppered throughout the text. A signed artist’s print portraying an amorous couple locked in the Embrace of Thighs is presented with every book.
The experience is both visual and tactile, with an elegant cloth binding blocked in gold and inset with a printed and blocked cloth label. The top edge is gilded and a ribbon is included as a place marker. Exquisite endpapers featuring sexual positions and sensual symbolism, also designed by Victo Ngai, complement the eight colour plates tipped into decorative borders and the numerous black and white drawings integrated with the text.
The beautifully-presented commentary volume is quarter-bound in cloth with paper sides blocked in dark blue foil. Essays by W. G. Archer, former keeper of the India collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and multi-award-winning novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi, delve deep into the cultural context of the Kama Sutra, expounding on the text and adding to the understanding and appreciation of the work. A specially commissioned article by historian John Keay discusses the pivotal role of sensuality in ancient Indian society.
The books and print are presented in a discreet cloth-bound box blocked in gold. Inside, the lining is a vibrant, printed and blocked cloth depicting the animal representations of the male lingam and the female yoni in a stunning design by the artist.
Written 2,000 years ago, The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana is a seven-part compendium of instruction for wealthy citizens. An early Indian treatise on the science and art of sex and love, the guide concerns itself with the pursuit of happiness and how the enjoyment of life can best be achieved. Famed for providing a guide to the practical techniques of sex, the book also advises the reader on selecting the perfect wife or husband, how to live in a virtuous manner, of taking a courtesan (and how courtesans should receive their lovers, and get rid of them), and of achieving a happy home filled with contentment for both parties. It fascinates modern audiences to this day.
Despite many subsequent translations of this epic work, Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot and Sir Richard Burton’s text has distinguished itself in the pantheon of Victorian writing. Essays by W. G. Archer, Hanif Kureishi and John Keay (the last commissioned for The Folio Society edition) are included.
The Folio Society edition of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana translated by Sir Richard Burton and Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot and illustrated by Victo Ngai is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com.