Venus in Furs is a novella that was written by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch that was published in 1870. This work is Sacher-Masoch’s best known novella. He had at first intended for this work to be part of a series that he envisioned to be called Legacy of Cain. The first volume of the series would have been called Love, and Venus in Furs would have been part of that first volume. However, even though that large series, Legacy of Cain, was never completed and published, this work was, and the themes it explores are not only unconventional but also demand serious reflection and maturity.
Venus in Furs draws heavily upon themes such as female dominance and sadomasochism, which is the combination of sadism and masochism in deriving sexual pleasure. In addition, the characters were inspired by people that Sacher-Masoch knew in his own life. The female protagonist is named Wanda von Dunajew, and she is modeled after Fanny Pistor, who was a writer that Sacher-Masoch knew. Pistor had contacted Sacher-Masoch under the pseudonym Baroness Bogdanoff for advice on her writing. The narrator is unnamed, and he dreams of talking to Venus about love, and she is wearing furs, hence the title.