Nicolas-Edme Rétif known as Restif de la Bretonne was a French writer and journalist of the 1700s, author of libertine novels, philosophical essays and chronical accounts, and from whose name the term retifism derives.
His erotic books were often illustrated by images of women with tiny feet and rounded mouths. The writer, a contradictory man, moralist and libertine at the same time, a lover of order but also of vice, had two great loves; these were born precisely from not having been able to resist observing their "small and beautiful" feet. The passion for female feet, as well as in his life, also transposed it into his books.
Restif will always remain a passionate admirer of female feet; even as for his wife, Agnès Lebégue, an insensitive woman whom he married only for money (and about whom he will say horrible things all his life), he will continue to cherish that part of her body. Eventually they separated (two daughters were born from the marriage, one of whom died small). The term retifism was born from his name, indicating the fetishism of the female foot and footwear, one of the attitudes that emerge most often from his erotic novels.
The Palais-Royal book on prostitutes is presented as a guide but is rather a series of conversations with girls and clients (almost interviews, in the manner of modern journalism). Another noteworthy work was Le Pornographe (1769), containing a legal plan for the legalization of prostitution on the model of the legislation introduced by the Emperor Joseph II. In France prostitution was illegal even if tolerated, until the regulation in the Napoleonic era.
In the short story Le pied de Franchette of 1769, a true classic of fetish literature, describes his love for feet and heels as follows:
"... they were so charming
, with their pink tongue and heels
green ... my lips pressed on one of these jewels,
while the other, betraying the sacred purpose of nature, with a
excess of exultation replaced the object of sex ".
Credits images: from web