At the start of his most active period as a book illustrator, and maybe significantly not long after marrying Marie Monnier, who was very much a woman of the world, Paul-Émile Bécat self-published this set of eight very explicit erotic prints, almost certainly writing the accompanying text too. Most of them are couched in historical fantasy, but the two group sex scenes are clearly contemporary, and as Bécat preferred to work from live models we can only guess whether they had any relationship with his personal experience.

An alternative colour scheme for one of the plates

Only 99 sets of the plates were produced, and as they were hand-coloured there is considerable variation in the way each of the plates appears in the copies that have survived. The plates are also sometimes seen in monochrome versions.