December 2014 | Nate Pedersen

Newly Discovered Cache of Erotic French Letters to be Published

Hoping to capture some of the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, that book's UK publisher, William Heinemann, has purchased a cache of erotic French love letters from the 1920s. The passionate love letters, written by a wealthy French woman to her younger, married lover were discovered by French ambassador Jean-Yves Berthault while helping a friend clean out an old apartment. The letters were hidden in a leather pouch beneath several jars.

Penned by one "Mademoiselle Simone" to an unidentified man named "Charles," the letters depict increasing erotic obsession in explicit detail.

"We have no way of knowing who Simone or Charles were, or what became of them, only that their affair ended in heartbreak," said Selina Walker of William Heinemann in an interview with The Guardian

"This is a time capsule of a book, a truly extraordinary testament to a period of time and a relationship that was as physical as it was passionate. And the fact that it was such a deeply buried secret for all these years makes it particularly special."

Foreign rights to the manuscript have been sold in several countries already and the book will be published in the US by Spiegel & Grau, a Random House imprint.