Le Guide Rose  

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Le Guide Rose is a series of books, published in France during the French Third Republic. It was a brothel guide that also carried advertising. It was published yearly. For example, the edition of 1936, sold under the counter, reviewed 700 maisons closes and carried numerous comments. A similar guidebook was published in the United Kingdom under the name Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies.

Very early therefore there were to be found printed directories of guides to women's flesh marts. These brothel directories were already in vogue during the eighteenth century and, as an example, one may be cited. It bears the remarkable title Funeral Oration of the very High and Mighty Mme. Justine (1786) ; it is said to have had a very prominent personage as its author. In the nineteenth century, as population grew and means of transportation brought more visitors to the great capital of pleasure, these directories became more numerous and obtrusive. In every little bookshop and dance hall these Guides to the Stranger in Paris were sold, either as collections of obscene pictures, or more usually as printed manuals to the pleasure-seeking provincial or stranger. The address of the brothel and the jades, their prices, and the catalogue of their sexual practices and perversities were described with breath-taking frankness and exhaustive detail. One of these manuals bore the amusing title: Les cocottes, biches et lorettes. Naturally such guides had only a short lease of life for they soon were out of date or were rapidly confiscated. Nevertheless, this was a very profitable business for the unscrupulous individuals who engaged in it, as we can judge from the enormous number of these guides. --The Erotic History of France

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