In 1992 the Paris-based publisher Sabine Fournier launched a series of illustrated erotic classics called ‘Les Aphrodisiaques’ (no translation needed), which by 2008 when it ended numbered some thirty titles. As with other such series, the quality of the black and white illustrations varies enormously. Towards the end of the series Sabine Fournier commissioned Nicole Claveloux to illustrate two of the Aphrodisiaques titles, which she agreed to as long as she could use the anagrammatical pseudonym Cécile Vallonoux.
The text of Les frasques d’une femme ‘fidele’ (The Escapades of a ‘Faithful’ Woman) is by Roseline Parny, the author of many mildly erotic books including two others in the Aphrodisiaques series and several in the best-selling ‘Interdits’ (Forbidden) collection. It’s a standard storyline: after a drunken party night a ‘perfect’ wife forgets herself and makes love with a teacher colleague. From there she finds it hard to stop, craving sexual experiences of all kinds, believing that her husband is not aware of anything amiss. Or is he?
The Claveloux illustrations are a perfectly adequate companion to the text, but do not inspire the imagination and quality of her best work.