Manuel de civilité by Pierre Louÿs and Martin Van Maele (1930s?)

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Manuel de civilité by Pierre Louÿs and Martin Van Maele (1930s?)


[Louÿs, Pierre]. Manuel de civilité pour les petites filles à l'usage des maisons d'éducation. [Illustrated by Martin Van Maele]. [Paris, 1930s?]. Kinsey Institute Library: 843.7 L89 m2 1919


The Manuel de civilité, a parodic “handbook of good manners” for young girls, written by Pierre Louÿs (1870-1925) and illustrated by Martin Van Maele (1863-1926), offers indecent advice for use in educational establishments. The author mocks every institution, prescribing rules for etiquette in church, at school, or at home. Although the imprint reads Brussels, 1919 as the place and year of publication, the book was probably issued in the 1930s in Paris, since the author’s heirs only discovered his erotic manuscripts after his death in 1925. The Manuel de civilité was one of the first of numerous licentious works by Louÿs to be published clandestinely. This edition, printed in 400 copies, was reserved for subscribers and not for sale. The book was condemned in a series of trials by the Criminal Court of the Seine, France, on December 18, 1951, October 3, 1953, and May 14, 1954. The copy exhibited here (no 316) was seized by U.S. Customs in New York on April 19, 1951, and released to the Kinsey Institute on March 1, 1958, following the Federal Court case “United States v. 31 Photographs.”

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“Manuel de civilité by Pierre Louÿs and Martin Van Maele (1930s?),” Banned Books, accessed July 13, 2024,

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