This small but perfectly-formed Devéria album contains six plates inspired by novels which would have been well known to the reading public in the 1840s, and male fantasies about the two naked young women of the title sheet lying in bed reading and pleasuring are exactly what Devéria had in mind as an audience. Hence La bibliothèque des romans: une veillée de jeune fille (The Library of Novels: A Bevy of Young Women).
The novels alluded to in the plates are:
Soeur Anne (Sister Anne) by Paul de Kock,
La grisette (Working Woman) by Auguste
Léonide, ou le vieille de Surène (Léonide, the Old Woman of Surène)
by Victor Ducange, 1830
La pucelle de Belleville (The Maid of Belleville) by Paul de Kock, 1834
Mon voisin Raymond (My Neighbour Raymond) by Paul de Kock, 1837
Le cocu (The Cuckold) by Paul de Kock, 1832
The rather appropriately-named Paul de Kock was the potboiler writer of the 1830s and 40s, churning out more than thirty popular novels, with a reputation for low-brow output in rather poor taste. Today he is virtually forgotten.