Author: Pierre Louÿs
Pierre Louÿs (French: [pjɛʁ lu.i(s)], 10 December 1870 – 6 June 1925) was a French poet and writer, most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings. He is known as a writer who sought to "express pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection." He was made first a Chevalier and then an Officer of the Légion d'honneur for his contributions to French literature.
In 1896, Louÿs published his first novel, Aphrodite—Ancient Manners (Aphrodite—mœurs antiques), a depiction of courtesan life in Alexandria. It is considered a mixture of both literary excess and refinement, and, numbering at 350,000 copies, was the best selling work by any living French author in his day.
Louÿs went on to publish Les Aventures du roi Pausole (The Adventures of King Pausolus) in 1901, Pervigilium Mortis in 1916, both of them libertine compositions, and Manuel de civilité pour les petites filles à l'usage des maisons d'éducation (written in 1917, published posthumously and anonymously in 1927), a parody whose obscenity is almost unparalleled even in the long history of French clandestine publishing.
Inspired by Abel Lefranc's arguments for the Derbyite theory of Shakespeare authorship, Louÿs proposed in 1919 that the works of Moliére were actually written by Corneille.
Even while on his deathbed, Pierre Louÿs continued to write delicately obscene verses.