Initiations voluptueuses (Voluptuous Initiations) was probably Hérouard’s last excursion into erotic illustration before the Second World War put a halt to the Parisian publishing scene. That is, if this portfolio is by Hérouard. The illustrations are in his style, but are signed ‘Erès’, so the jury is out on their attribution.

‘Gladys de Rosemont’ is similarly enigmatic, her ‘rosy mound’ symbolic of the content of this fictional erotic memoir.

Simone, a lecherous aunt, introduces her niece and nephew to the joys of sex. She loves to educate the youngsters, to take advantage of the virility of the soldiers in the nearby barracks and the know-how of her brother Marcel. Strengthened by her role as educator, she has a clear sense of her duties: ‘the true art of cock-wanking is in its uncapping.’ The narrator of these escapades, Simone knows how to enjoy language, and finds a thousand ways to name her sex: ‘my fleece, my slit, my cunny, my voluptuous nest, my pretty twink.’

Whatever the true identities of author and illustrator, this singular publication from A l’Alcove de Vénus marks the end of the pre-war spanking era.