Mon noviciat, ou les joies de Lolotte (My Novitiate, or The Joys of Lolotte) is a 1776 novel by André-Robert Andréa de Nerciat, best known for his later Le diable au corps (The Devil in the Body). It explores many of the same themes as Jean-Baptiste de Boyer’s Thérèse Philosophe and Mirabeau’s L’education de Laure – how pleasure and sexual sharing can overcome convention and a strict moral code.

Lolotte, the heroine-narrator, follows her newly-divorced mother to a provincial convent, where the monks, already involved in a range of ‘saturnine rituals’, introduce her to the pleasures of the flesh. In a series of letters, she describes her lesbian relationship with Félicité and their growing involvement with the monks’ regular orgies.

Unfortunately there has never been an English translation of Mon noviciat, but if you can read French there is a good online version to be found here.

Jean-Adrien Mercier’s illustrations for this edition show what can be done with a limited palette, especially the judicious use of pink.

Mon noviciat was published by Maurice Duflou in a limited numbered edition of 400 copies.