Harry Sidney Nichols  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Harry Sidney Nichols (died 1939) was born in 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”. 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. In 1908 Nichols, being threatened with extradition, immigrated 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.


  • Copac
  • James G. Nelson, "Publisher to the Decadents: Leonard Smithers in the Careers of Beardsley, Wilde, Dowson", Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000, ISBN 0271019743
  • Patrick J. Kearney, "A history of erotic literature", Macmillan, 1982, ISBN 0333341260, pp.151-153
  • Jon R. Godsall, "The Tangled Web: A Life of Sir Richard Burton", Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2008, ISBN 1906510423, p.398

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