Gamiani, ou deux nuits d’excès (Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess), generally believed to have been written by Alfred de Musset, is one of the best-known and most-illustrated of French erotic novels. Based on de Musset’s experiences with George Sand and her lesbian lover, Gamiani opens with Alcide watching Countess Gamiani and her young lover Fanny enjoying one another’s bodies. Very much aroused, Alcide reveals himself and joins them, and they spend the rest of their time together sharing their intimate stories and re-enacting scenes from them. First published in 1833, Gamiani was the most reprinted work during the nineteenth century, appearing in no fewer than 41 editions.
This Berthomme Saint-André edition of Gamiani accompanies a version of the text edited by Henri Pasquinelli, and though it bears no date it is believed to have been published in 1940 or shortly thereafter. The title page gives us the details ‘Edition réalisée par les soins et au profit exclusif des ‘Vrais Amateurs Romantiques’ (groupement de bibliophiles) (Edition produced with the care and for the exclusive benefit of the ‘True Amateur Romantics’ (Group of Bibliophiles)). It was produced in a limited numbered edition of 227 copies. A pirated version of the monochrome plates appeared around 1950.
Berthomme Saint-André bars no holds in his over-the-top plates for Gamiani. The orgy is in full swing throughout, and Alcide and Fanny appear to have brought along several of their friends to enjoy the action.
Gamiani has been constantly in print in French; if you would like to read it in English then either the edition published in 2003 by the Erotic Print Society (with illustrations by Vania Zouravliov) or the one published by Harper Perennial in 2007 are both reasonable translations.