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Old 10-22-2007, 07:39 PM   #1
Patricia
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Gautier, Théophile: King Candaules, v1, 23 Oct 2007

Le Roi Candaule (1844). Translated by Lafcadio Hearn.

A novella set in heroic-age Greece. The most beautiful woman in the world hates being looked at. But her husband wants to show her off.

From the Wikiedia entry on King Candaules.
Candaules (Κανδαύλης), also known as Myrsilos (Μυρσίλος) was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia from 735 BC to 718 BC. He succeeded Meles and was followed by Gyges. His name is the origin of the term candaulism, for a sexual practice attributed to him by legend. … According to The Histories of Herodotus, Candaules bragged of his wife's incredible beauty to his favorite bodyguard Gyges. "It appears you don't believe me when I tell you how lovely my wife is," said Candaules. "A man always believes his eyes better than his ears; so do as I tell you - contrive to see her naked."
Gyges refused; he did not wish to dishonor the Queen by seeing her nude body. He also feared what the King might do to him if he did accept.
Candaules was insistent, and Gyges had no choice but to obey…
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