A Secret History of Pandora's Box is an English erotic novel published anonymously in 1742 by the London publishers Mary Cooper and her husband. Its focus on the female genitalia proceeds with reference to Greek and Roman mythology, a common trope of the time. Another common and more specific trope in much erotic fiction of the time is allegorizing "the parts of the female sex" as a cave. The trope of Pandora's box was already associated with the female body in the previous decade, in Jonathan Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room", and A Secret History proposes that the female parts "may well have been the original Pandora's box". The connection is found in subsequent erotic fiction as well.
|Published||for T. Cooper, 1742|
- Harvey, Karen (2004). Reading Sex in the Eighteenth Century: Bodies and Gender in English Erotic Culture. Cambridge UP. pp. 42–43. ISBN 9780521822350. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Boucé, Paul-Gabriel (1987). "Chthonic and Pelagic Metaphorization in Eighteenth-Century English Erotica". In Robert P. Maccubin (ed.). 'Tis Nature's Fault: Unauthorized Sexuality During the Enlightenment. Cambridge UP. pp. 209–. ISBN 9780521347686. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Harvey, Karen (2001). "Gender, Space and Modernity in Eighteenth-Century England: A Place Called Sex". History Workshop Journal. 51 (51): 158–79. doi:10.1093/hwj/2001.51.158. JSTOR 4289725. PMID 18770907.