is the sixth novel by the English novelist Jane Austen
. Published in 1811, its heady mix of recreational pharmacology, satanic rites and transgressive sex was too much for Regency society and it failed to find a conventional publisher. Austen herself had to resort to writing copies out by hand and distributing them on street corners - at least in the counties where the book had not already been banned. Even then, many copies ended up being used as kindling. However, in the intervening years, the book's reputation has grown and is now an acknowledged influence on the work of Hubert Selby, Jr.
, Irvine Welsh
and Jilly Cooper