André-Robert Andréa de Nerciat, best known for his novel Le diable au corps (The Devil Incarnate) and the erotic memoir Les Aphrodites, was the son of a Burgundian royal official, who retired from the military in 1775 to concentrate on writing plays, verse, light music and pornographic novels. He worked as a secret agent of the French government across Europe, and may also have worked as a double agent, as he was arrested by the French when they invaded Naples in 1798. Le doctorat impromptu (The Impromptu Doctorate) is an epistolary novel published in 1788, consisting of fictional letters between the convent-fleeing nun Erosie and her confidante Juliet as Erosie explores a variety of new-found pleasures of the flesh.

The Paris-based publisher Éditions d’Ibis appears to have published just two high-quality illustrated books, a 1950 edition of Marie-Louise Laurent-Tailhade’s Les nuits du XVIIIe siècle (Eighteenth-Century Nights) illustrated by Daniel Sigros, and this Klementieff (as ‘Klem’) edition of Nerciat.

The Klem illustrations, which appear to be his last book commission, have the same sureness of imagination and composition as his earlier work.

The Éditions d’Ibis Le doctorat impromptu was issued in a numbered limited edition of 1800 copies.