The full title of this 1907 romantic romp by Gabriel Soulages, at the time a lawyer practising in Albi in southern France, is Le malheureux petit voyage ou la misérable fin de madame de Conflans, princesse de la Marsaille rapportée par Marie Toinon Cerisette, sa fidèle et dévouée servante (The unfortunate little journey and miserable end of Madame de Conflans, Princess of Marseilles, as reported by Marie Toinon Cerisette, her faithful and devoted servant). It was very popular at the time, and was illustrated several times, most notably by Umberto Brunelleschi in 1926 (you can see his illustrations here), Carlègle in 1936 (you can see his illustrations here), Maurice Leroy in 1942, and Paul-Émile Bécat in 1950.

The illustrations tell the story as well as any short description – nubile young madame and her maid set off on a journey of geographic and sensual discovery, enjoying each other’s bodies and being educated, rescued and shared along the way. Sadly it all ends in tears with an unfortunate drowning.

Le malheureux petit voyage with twenty Bécat illustrations was published by Éditions du Baniyan in a limited numbered edition of 740 copies.