Paperback: The Book of Love, by James McConnachie

Atlantic £8.99 (267pp)

Revealing that his research involved "the long walk of shame to the isolated 'special materials' area" of the British Library, James McConnachie provides a measured and intelligent account of the Kamasutra, but his main interest is the involvement of the gamey Sir Richard Burton in introducing this 1,700-year-old manual to Victorian England, or at least the well-heeled: "His view was snobbish but libertarian." It is intriguing to conjecture what Sir Richard would have thought of such recent manifestations as Kama Sutra for Cats, Kama Sutra in 3D and "no fewer than two versions of a Pop-Up Kama Sutra".