The Young Girl's Handbook of Good Manners for Use in Educational Establishments

The Young Girl's Handbook of Good Manners for Use in Educational Establishments

Pierre Louÿs

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Translated, with an introduction, by Geoffrey Longnecker / March 2010 / 4.5 x 7, 80 pp. / 978-0-9841155-1-8

The first of Pierre Louÿs’s erotic works to see publication after his death, The Young Girl’s Handbook of Good Manners is also his most outrageous, and one of the few erotic classics in which humor takes precedence over arousal. By means of shockingly filthy advice and a parodic format, Louÿs turns late nineteenth-century manners roundly upon their head, with ass prominently skyward. Whether he is offering rules for etiquette in church, school, or home, or outlining a girl’s duties toward family, neighbor, or God, Louÿs manages to mock every institution, leaving no hypocrisy unexposed. The book has only grown more scandalous and subversive than when it first appeared in 1926.

Pierre Louÿs (1870–1925) was a best-selling author in his time, and a friend of and influence on such luminaries as André Gide, Paul Valéry, Oscar Wilde, and Stephane Mallarmé. He achieved instant notoriety with Aphrodite and The Songs of Bilitis, and his 1898 novel The Woman and the Puppet has been adapted for the screen in such noteworthy films as Josef von Sternberg’s The Devil Is a Woman and Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire. But it was only after his death that his true legacy was to be uncovered: nearly nine hundred pounds of erotic manuscripts were discovered in his home, all of them immediately scattered among collectors and many lost. The body of work that has since been gathered—manuscripts continue to be discovered—leaves little doubt: Louÿs is the greatest French writer of erotica there ever was.

“Louÿs entered eroticism the way others enter politics or religion”—Jean-Paul Goujon

“One of the great and glorious erotomaniacs of the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth”—André Pieyre de Mandiargues


“This is just the book to give your niece—if she’s a quiet, neat, straight-laced girl.”
—A. D. Jameson, The Review of Contemporary Fiction

“Exuberantly naughty.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

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