Asphodel (1998). Hardcover. The bookselling firm of Michael deHartington issued ten catalogues of homosexual literature during its brief existence from 1972-1974. These catalogues included some of the rarest books on the subject and remain a significant resource for students, collectors and bibliophiles. These catalogues, rareties themselves, have been reissued here in a facsimile edition along with an Introduction by Timothy d'Arch Smith, one of the firm's principals, and a widely respected scholar in the field.
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Paris, A. Savine (1890). 295pp. The novel based upon the author's experiences in a French prison camp in Tunisia, which has been described as "'the most effective indictment of the French colonial army written in the nineteenth century.' Darien chronicles the lives of men caught up in the system and deals compassionately with the subject of homosexuality in the army. Never a member of the literary elite in France, he was much admired by the Symbolists and wrote a number of political tracts and was considered an anarchist. The novel was adapted to the stage and later film and has remained a classic since its publication.This is the first edition of the book, quite rare in commerce. Very good in limp maroon leather boards, original wrappers present, inked stamp of the Collège de ’Pataphysique on endpaper, along with the inked ownership stamp of Emmanuel Peillet, one of the founders of the Collège.
Paris: Editions du Capitole (1927). 4to. 418pp. A record of Shakespeare's voyage of 1584 with 46 full-page illustrations and 8 vignettes by Gaston Goor. Laid into the book is a 2 pp. holograph letter from Goor (dated 1927) to Louis Brulé mentioning several books that he was illustrating (including "Le Voyage de Shakespeare". He also mentions his address as 14 Cité Falguière, an atelier for artists (where Modigliani, Brancusi, Foujita also had spaces). The letter is illustrated with a pencil drawing of a lady with a parasol, Notre Dame in the background. One of 1680 numbered copies, this is one of 1400 on Alfa Francia. Very good in original decorative wrappers, light wear to covers and spine.
Paris: L'Edition (1918). 284pp. Memoirs of the famous French tragedien, who befriended Cocteau at a young age and helped to launch his career as a poet. Illustrated throughout with 24 drawings of Jean Lorrain, Robert de Montesquiou, Henri Bernstein, Sacha Guitry, Sarah Bernhardt, Edmond Rostand and others by Cappiello, de Losques, Lucien Laforge, etc. One of only thirty numbered copies on Japon (after 12 on Chine), this copy is also adorned with a warm inscription from the author on a title page from another addition which is tipped onto endpaper. A very nice copy in original decorated wrappers.
Paris Modern-Bibliothèque [1909?] 155p. The first illustrated edition of this novel, which caused a scandal when it appeared. because of its 'indelicate and unpatriotic' novel about military life, it includes one character, Laprévotte, a sodomite, who is cuaght in Le Havre with a group of seven boys. It was prodeeded against for indecency ('outrage aux moeurs'), and the defendants were acquitted in March 1890." - - Patrick Pollard, André Gide: Homosexual Moralist, Yale University Press, 1991).
Paris: Union Internationale d'Éditions (1909). 155pp. This "roman militaire" is similar to Lucien Descave's portrayal of army life in "Sous-Off" in its descriptions of the seamier aspects of military life. Deverin, an accomplished artist as well as writer, describes in some detail visits to brothels and assorted sexual improprieties. Very good in original decorative wrappers, light wear to covers and spine. The author has illustrated the front endpapers with an original signed drawing depicting a seated soldier. Uncommon.
London: Curwen Press (1926). 13pp. An uncommon collection of some of Douglas's poems privately printed by A. J. A. Symons in an edition of 50 copies (this is #40). Very good in printed wrappers, light wear to covers, corrections of 4 misprints in the author's hand. Laid into a yellow linen chemise and slipcase, bookplate on front pastedown. Warmly inscribed by Douglas on endpaper ("A belated wedding gift.").
Naples: Luigi Pierro (1906), 8vo. One of Douglas's early works, an account of Giordano's De Capreis insula from his Historia Neapolitana. The third in a series on Capri by the author. Original salmon wrappers stamped in black, photographic frontispiece missing (as in most copies). One of 250 copies. Woolf A9. Very good, light wear and small chips to spine.
Mexico City: Biblioteca Cientifica (1956). 252pp. One of many such popular books dedicated to sexual issues in the 1950s, with guidance on various prohibited activities, including a discussion of homosexuality. One chapter deals with the sex lives of writers and includes essays on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tchaikovsky, Balzac and others. Very good in lightly worn illustrated wrappers. Quite rare.
Paris. 1 April 1921 (Series B. #2). (20” x 8/5”). 4pp. An unusual publication by the American dancer/poet/printer who settled in Paris in 1911 and printed a number of his own works, including this periodical espousing his philosophies. This edition also includes short works by Han Ryner, Louis Forest and an excerpt from Natalie Barney’s Pensées d'une Amazon. Very good, edges lightly darkened, folded sheet. Rare.
NP: ND . This controversial work of pornography contains a chapter on Baron Jacques d'Adelwärd Fersen, which was originally published by the author in 1904 in a pamphlet entitled Les mémoires du Baron Jacques : Lubricités infernales de la noblesse décadente. The author sets forth a rather bizarre and largely spurious account of Fersen and his sexual indiscretions, including alleged trysts with Oscar Wilde, Jean Lorrain, his own mother and assorted others. The original pamphlet was condemned by the Cour d'Assises in 1913 and this version, significantly revised was issued several years later. (see Ogrinc, Frère Jacques: A Shrine to Love and Sorrow). A quite rare publication, we can find no institutional copies. Very good, with original front wrapper present, which includes an original, rather accomplished erotic drawing, plain brown wrappers. The first section includes 72 pages and six chapters, the second section is identified as "Livre III: Deuzième Volume" and consists of 88 pages and six successively numbered chapters and an Epilogue. Pia 1100, 1101; Perceau 287-C, D (who identifies the date of pubication].
Bruxelles: La Renaissance du Livre (1926) 282pp. An uncommon gay novel highly praised by Jean Genet. Eekhoud wrote a number of novels with similar themes, most notably the controversial Escal Vigour which precipitated a prosecution that the author ultimately won. Many of his works have been republished in recent years, including this work. Very good in marbled boards, original wrappers not present.
Medoso, MMMCCCXXXIII . 75pp. The second edition of this important early document about sodomy, with particular attention to the notorious Deschauffours affair of 1726 wherein Benjamin Deschauffours was burned at the stake in the Place de Grève in Paris for kidnapping boys and selling them to some 200 French aristocrats. The pamphlet depicts Deschauffours ("Fourchuda") as the champion of the oppressed class in Spira ("Paris") who in his zeal in defending a large army of Ebugors ("Buggers") was taken prisoner in the struggle, thrown into the fire by the partisans of the Cytherons (referencing the Greek island of Cythera, traditionally associated with heterosexual love). The pamphlet uses anagrams throughout to disguise its subject matter and supplies a four page key at the end to assist in deconstructing the essay. The pamphlet was originally published in 1733 is quite rare and was routinely banned by censors. Bibliothèque nationale, Enfer, n° 113 - P. Pia, Les Livres de l'Enfer, p. 49. Very good in marbled boards and calf spine, marbled endpapers, original wrappers present, silk page marker, light spotting to endpapers.
Paris (15 Janvier 1909). 160pp. Issue Number 1 of this short-lived monthly literary review, considered one of the first gay magazines published. This issue contains works by Laurent Tailhade, Colette, Robert Scheffer, Arthur Symons, Boulestin ("Chroniques Anglaise" referencing Wilde) as well as artwork. Good in original wrappers, browning to covers, wear to spine, marked "specimen" on front cover.
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.