‘Gaillardises’ is one of those untranslatable French words; its beginning is ‘gai’, meaning cheerful or jolly, but its extension into ‘gaillardises’ implies something more than mere high spirits, venturing into the ribald, bawdy, and downright frisky.

Here we have a collection of risqué verse from the gallant age of French romance, published in Paris around 1950 and illustrated by sixteen loosely inserted plates. Both Mariette Lydis and Rojan have been suggested as possible candidates for Anon in this case, but they are too colourful for Lydis and too crude for Rojan. And – surprise surprise – the illustrations have very little to do with the text!