A Caution for Young Girls
A Caution for Young Girls is an erotic book, allegedly the autobiography of Lady Coryanne Wylde.
A Caution for Young Girls is infamous as one of the most debased works of carnal debauchery circulating through the Seven Kingdoms, of the lowest sort. It is supposedly the memoir of Lady Coryanne Wylde, recounting a life of "sin, suffering, and slavery"—in the words of Archmaester Gyldayn—in which she finds herself as handmaid to a queen, the paramour of a young knight, a camp follower in the Disputed Lands, a serving wench in Myr, a mummer in Tyrosh, the "plaything" of a corsair queen in the Basilisk Isles, a slave in Volantis, the handmaid of a Qartheen warlock, the mistress of a pleasure house in Lys and ultimately a septa in the Starry Sept of Oldtown, where she sets down the story of her life as a warning to young maids.
There are several variants of the book in circulation, due to its nature as a book of erotica: most of the population in Westeros is illiterate, and professional book-copiers only serve the elite. Maesters are strictly trained to reproduce books exactly, while septons are encouraged to strike out passages considered obscene or offensive. Such professionals would not transcribe erotica, so A Caution for Young Girls was probably copied by various less reliable sources such as expelled drunken septons, or failed students from the Citadel. "Worst of all", however, are mummers, who feel a great need to add "improvements" to works they are reproducing - usually by adding increasingly more lascivious incidents into the existing text.
These inaccurate transmissions and intentional additions had the combined effect of producing different versions which are truly different books, and indeed, do not even share the same title - through all do share the subtitle "A Caution for Young Girls", by which maesters refer to them collectively. The four primary variants are Sins of the Flesh, The High and Low, A Wanton's Tale, and The Wickedness of Men.
Sins of the Flesh and The High and Low are apparently the earlier versions, and they are shorter, while A Wanton's Tale and The Wickedness of Men are apparently later versions, particularly because they are longer with additions not present in the others.
A Caution for Young Girls, despite its extreme depravity and infamy, has proved very popular. Several hundred copies were ordered burned by Baelor the Blessed during his reign, but this failed to destroy all of them. Hundreds more have since been recopied, circulating around the brothels and other low places of Westeros.
Gyldayn used A Caution for Young Girls as a source for an incident during the reign of Jaehaerys the Conciliator, as all official sources of the time considered the event too scandalous to remark upon at all. Allegedly, a young lady Coryanne was hired to seduce Jaehaerys I, in an attempt to break up his incestuous marriage to his sister Alysanne, which might have started another Faith Militant uprising. Some versions say that she did have sex with Jaehaerys but he later repented, while others say he was tempted to but lost heart, while others say he rejected her altogether. The variants also disagree on who is supposed to have hired Coryanne: Some say it was Lord Rogar Baratheon's younger brother, Ser Borys, others that it was Lord Rogar himself, and still others that Rogar had sex with her first.
A Dance with Dragons
Tyrion Lannister has the choice of three books aboard ship, including "a well-thumbed tome about the erotic adventures of a young slave girl in a Lysene pillow house", which he considers "the worst written but the most engrossing".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.