Paris: L'Assiette au Beurre (20 Juin 1908). A German edition of the weekly French satirical magazine with a cover illustration relating to the notorious Eulenburg scandal that engulfed Germany from 1907-1909. Maximilian Harden was the jingoist editor of the periodical Die Zukunf and accused Philipp, Prince of Eulenburg-Hertefeld, and General Kuno, Graf von Moltke of engaging in homosexual activities. Both men were members of Kaiser Wilhelm II's inner circle and the ensuing scandal had long lasting effects on the gay rights movement in Europe. The affair received wide publicity and is often considered the biggest domestic scandal of the German Second Empire. It led to one of the first major public discussions of homosexuality and was the first occasion that the word "homosexual" was introduced into common usage. Very good, spine cracking a bit.
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Paris: 2 Aout 1908. # 1017. The French periodical contains a cover illustration of Philip, Prince of Eulenburg, on trial in Berlin for perjury while recumbent in his bed. Although he was married, Eulenburg was connected in homosexual liaisons with members of the Kaiser's inner circle, including Count Kuno von Moltke, the military commander of Berlin. The public exposure of these liaisons in 1907 led to the infamous Harden-Eulenburg Affair. In 1908, Eulenburg was placed on trial for perjury due to his denial of his homosexuality; the trial was repeatedly postponed due to Eulenburg's claim of poor health. Very good, light spotting to covers.
Berlin: Buchh. Vorwärts (1907). 16pp. The Eulenburg affair, was the controversy in Germany surrounding a series of courts-martial and five civil trials regarding accusations of homosexual conduct, and accompanying libel trials, among prominent members of Kaiser Wilhelm II's cabinet and entourage during 1907–1909. It also involved Adolf Brand, Magnus Hirschfeld and numerous others. An uncommon record of the facts surrounding the drama as it unfolded. Very good in somewhat yellowed wrappers.
An extroardinary letter from Rear Admiral David G. Farragut aboard the flagship Hartford at Mobile Bay, Alabama dated September 17, 1864 addressed to Acting Ensign, Robert H. Carey aboard the USS William G. Anderson, concerning the Court Martial of a man on charges of "Scandalous conduct tending to the destruction of good morals". The accused was found guilty of acts of sodomy; in part: "After mature deliberation, the court found the accused Guilty of the Charge and sentenced as follows; viz - 'And the Court do sentence the accused, Geo. W. Curtis, Landsman, to ten years confinement at hard labor in the Parish Prison, New Orleans, La. and to the loss of all pay and freeze money now due, or which may become due to him.' I have approved the sentence of the Court in this case. You will have the prisoner sent in irons by the first opportunity to New Orleans, to be transferred to the proper authorities for confinement. This communication to be read on the Quarter deck of your vessel at general muster." The charge of sodomy had been a capital crime up until 1831, although the military did not specifically outlaw it until 1921. Homosexuality was taboo at the time, and there are very few records of it during the Civil War. No punishments were recorded for any soldiers in the army, and only a few records have been found for sailors who were charged and dismissed from the Navy. Usual mail folds, with toning being darker at the folds, some foxing. Four small strips of tape have been placed along mail folds on interior pages. Some weakness along center fold has resulted in slight separation. Two pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 10"
Paris (1909). A complete set of 12 issues of this magazine of literature and the arts, financed and edited by Fersen. Contributions by many important literary figures, including Colette, Henry Gauthier-Villars, Laurent Tailhade, Josephin Peladan, Marcel Boulestin, Maxim Gorky, Georges Eekhoud, Achille Essebac, Claude Farrère, Anatole France, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Henri Barbusse, Jean Moréas, Arthur Symons and Fersen himself. Although not explicitly dedicated to homosexual issues and interests, each issue did contain material of interest to gay readers and the journal is considered the first French magazine with a gay agenda Very good in contemporary marbled paper boards, ocassional light foxing.
Paris: L. Vanier (1901). 203pp. An early collection of "poemes de l'enfance" by Fersen, who fled from France to Capri when his "messes noires" with young men gained the attention of Parisian authorities. Very good in decorative jacket by Louis Morin, who also contributed several drawings in the text. Introduction by Edmond Rostand.
Paris: Albert Messein (1921). The last book penned by the eccentric opium addict before his early death on the island of Capri several years later. The poems collected here largely inspired by opium and cocaine use, and one poem (Tocca a la Romanza) relates to Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas. One of 500 numbered copies (#168), near fine in decorated wrappers. Uncommon.
Léon Vanier/Albert Messein: Paris (1903). 4to. 174pp. This volume of poetry was written the same year as the author's "Messes Noires" scandal. It was also the year of his friendship with Loulou Locré, a pupil at the Lycée Carnot and of his ultimately disastrous association with Albert François de Warren, a contemporary who appears in Peyrefitte's novel about Fersen. Very good in decorative green boards with a tipped-on photograph of the author. The first hardbound copy of the book we have seen, in what appears to be a publisher's binding. Quite uncommon.
Léon Vanier/Albert Messein: Paris (1903). 4to. 174pp. Soft cover. This volume of poetry was written the same year as the author's "Messes Noires" scandal. It was also the year of his friendship with Loulou Locré, a pupil at the Lycée Carnot and of his ultimately disastrous association with Albert François de Warren, a contemporary who appears in Peyrefitte's novel about Fersen. Very good in original green wrappers with a tipped-on photograph of the author. Quite uncommon.
Paris: Leon Vanier (1907). Two novellas, one of which was hailed by Rachilde as a minor masterpiece, both dealing with boys and thwarted love. The book was dedicated to Fersen's lover, Nino Cesarini, "blus beau que la lumière romaine." Edward Prime-Stevenson notes in his compendium The Intersexes called Une Jeunesse "the most artistic of Fersen's tales... It is a simple and graceful sketch of the passion of Robert Jélaine, a young French painter—sensual and prematurely disillusioned but not wholly embittered—for a Sicilian youth, Nino, with a head "like that of the David of Verocchio." The boy is living with his grandmother, at Taormina. Nino has inherited homosexuality, though he does not know it. But the instinct, and consequent incidents, bring his sudden separation from Jélaine." Very good in original wrappers, a bit browned, rebound in marbled paper boards.
NP:ND [1911-1914]. 88pp. A rare and controversial work of pornography, which includes one chapter entitled "Chez le baron d'Alderswald" which was originally published in 1904 as a pamphlet and condemned by the Cour d'Assises in 1913. The author casts asperions on every one around Fersen: he had intimate relations with Oscar Wilde, Pierre Loti, and Jean Lorrain; he had an incestuous relationship with his mother who took his virginity at an early age; Jacques, in turn, deflowered a number of young boys upon the skeleton of his own mother. The piece ends with Jacques' death in the prison hospital at Fresnes as a result of "a delicate operation on his anus." This version, significantly revised, was issued as part of a series. Very good in 3/4 morocco binding, marbled endpapers, the initials "P.K.M." appear at foot of spine, lightly nicked spine, original wrappers present. Pia (@110) dates this publication to sometime between 1911 and 1914.
Paris, Éditions de Pan (1911). (4to) 39 pp. One of the rarest books published by the eccentric writer, limited to 130 numbered copies (this example unnumbered). Many of the poems bear printed dedications to his fellow writers, Laurent Tailhade, Georges Eekhoud, Robert Scheffer, as well as his longtime consort Nino Cesarini. The title comes from the famous garden in Sri Lanka, which Fersen had visited several years earlier on an extended trip to the island. Very good in original wrappers.
Elysium: Asphodel Editions (2005). 1st Edition. Hardcover. This edition is the first English translation of the eccentric Baron Fersen's decadent gay novel, Lord Lyllian: Messes Noires. Fersen (1880-1923) was arrested in 1903 and charged with indecent assault and exciting minors to debauchery. He was forced to leave France and settled in Capri, where he began the novel the following year. Originally published in 1905, it was one of the first novels written about Oscar Wilde after his demise and is filled with outrageous descriptions of fin de siècle excesses, including Fersen’s own addiction to opium and adolescent boys. The edition is limited to 500 copies bound in black silk moiré, with a reproduction of the original cover illustration by Claude Simpson tipped onto the cover. Jeremy Reed has contributed an Introduction to the edition. Printed at the Stinehour Press in Vermont.
Paris: Vanier (1905). 3rd ed. Fersen's semi-autobiographical novel about the decadent Lord Lyllian," a breathtaking mixture of truth and fiction" according to the scholar Will Ogrinc. Fersen includes among his cast of characters not only Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas, but Friedrich Krupp, Péladan, Robert de Montesquiou, Jean Lorrain and many others. The author's legal battles with his own "messes noires" happened several years before this novel was published and Fersen had retreated to Capri. A good copy in the very appealing wrappers designed by Claude Simpson, modest browning to covers, spine a bit wrinkled, small tears to front hinge. The mention of a "troisieme edition" on title page may be fictive. An English translation of the novel, issued by Elysium Press, was published in 2005.
Paris: Vanier (1905). Fersen's semi-autobiographical novel about the decadent Lord Lyllian," a breathtaking mixture of truth and fiction" according to the scholar Will Ogrinc. Fersen includes among his cast of characters not only Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas, but Friedrich Krupp, Péladan, Robert de Montesquiou, Jean Lorrain and many others. The author's legal battles with his own "messes noires" happened several years before this novel was published and Fersen had retreated to Capri. A good copy in the very appealing wrappers designed by Claude Simpson, some wear and browning to covers, light repair to verso, bound in a 1/4 morocco binding with marbled endpapers. Bookplate of Thierry-Richard Sabatier, along with a tipped in clipping from le Figaro about Peyrefitte's book. An English translation of the novel, issued by Elysium Press, was published in 2005.
London: Leonard Smithers (1899). A collection of poems by a friend of the Sitwells and George Moore, published no doubt as a vanity publication by Smithers, "publisher to the decadents." Laid in is an ALS from the author to the singer Lady Maud Warrender, with her bookplate on front paste down. Very good in decorative blue boards, wear to edges, hinges weakening.
Paris: Delagrave (1870). 374pp. Book Description: Paris, Delagrave, 1870., 1870. in-12. 374pp. Broché, couverture imprimée. Edition Originale de cet écrit de Jean-Baptiste Fonssagrives (1823-1884), professeur d'hygiène à la Faculté de Montpellier, à qui l'on doit "des ouvrages estimés, dont quelques uns ont été traduits en plusieurs langues" (Larousse). Première éducation des garçons, endurcissement phyue, problèmppscolaire, éducation des sens, éducation des muscles, choix d'une profession, etc. Rousseurs éparses, petites traces de mouillures claires. Exemplaire non rogné.
Cincinnati: Little Man Press (1941). A collection of the author's poetry with a colored frontispiece by Matta. A very good copy in the printed dust jacket, light sunning at edges. One of 50 signed copies, this is #10. Laid in a is a photographic postcard from the author (who also took the photograph) which bears a holograph signed note in his hand (dated 1977).