Is it possible to admire a book and be disgusted by it at the same time? The stores in this collection by 19th century French author Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly feature wicked amoral women who drive men to adultery, crime, and despair. The stories are all narrated by men, usually relating their story of sin and regret to a younger man. It would be easy to dismiss Barbey d'Aurevilly as a misogynist, but he describes his "she-devils" in such enraptured detail that it is hard to believe he does not secretly admire them. In most cases the women are so wicked that they come across as caricatures, but the stories are so well told that you can almost forgive the misogyny. Reading these stories you genuinely feel transported to a 19th century French salon where an elderly gentleman sips his wine and tells you the story of the unforgettable beauty who lead him astray.