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Barcelona: Pons (1867). 310pp. 3rd. ed. A compendium of every conceivable sin relative to sex, written for the use of priests in dealing with their errant flocks. The treatise on church doctrine includes great detail relative to the variations of sexual improprieties, including bestiality, sodomy, pederasty, masturbation (with extensive discussion of the details of this vice). A fair copy in original boards, extensive browning throughout, front hing cracked, signature and stamps on title page. Uncommon.
Playbill from the November 20, 1968 production of Alexander Cohen's "Marlene Dietrich" at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Arrangement by Burt Bacharach, conducted by Stan Freeman. The cover is signed by Dietrich, Freeman and several others and is in near fine condition. From the estate of Kenneth Macpherson and Islay Lyons.
London, J.W. Parker and Son (1858) 8vo., 128 pp. A rare volume on the conduct of young men given to the eccentric teenage poet and Etonian, Digby Mackworth Dolben at age 14. Dolben caused considerable scandal at Eton with his exhibitionist behaviour and homosexual eccentricities He wrote homosexual verses to his contemporaries and scandalized his tutors with his behaviour. Dolben drowned at 19 and was mourned by the great Victorian poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins: “there can very seldom have happened the loss of so much beauty (in body and mind and life) ... Inscribed in 1862 to Dolben by Edward Daniel Stone, classical scholar and a schoolmaster at Eton during Dolben's tenure there. Armorial ex-libris of George Digby Scott, rector of Bray Quite rare- the first book of Dolben's library of which we are aware. Full crushed brown morocco and gilt, some wear, evidence of old tape strip removal, all edges gilt.
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.").
Paris: Chez Ladvocat (1825). 2vols. 238pp and 225pp. 2nd ed. One of two important novels published by Duras during her lifetime (the other being Ourika) both of which deal with controversial subjects of marginalized characters and the social pressures which subvert romantic relationships. In Edouard, the story revolves around the son of a worker adopted by a nobleman who falls in love with his adopted sister. Edouard, understanding the impossibility of the misalliance joins the army and seeks death as a solider rather than pursuing the ill-faited romance. Two volumes, each bound in contemporary paper boards and leather spines, adverts at end of second volume, some light rubbing and wear to covers, occasional light spotting. The first edition was issued in a very small edition of 100 copies; this edition is the first edition in commerce.
Chez la petite Lolotte au Palais Royal, Paris, 1887. 204pp. An uncommon erotic work, largely ignored in the literature. Very good in original wrappers, rebound in vellum. One of 120 numbered copies (#95). Very good, a few darkened areas on final sheets. According to scholar Patrick Kearney: "The identity of 'E.D.' remains something of a mystery. Was he Edmond Dumoulin or Emile Desjardins? Both names have been proposed by sources which are normally reliable. Or perhaps, as has also been suggested, there were two authors working for the same publisher who coincidentally had identical initials. The first public suggestion that the author was Dumoulin seems to occur in the entry (no. 175) for Odor di femina in L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris: Mercure de France, 1913), the product of the combined talents of Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Perceau and Fernand Fleuret. The note to the entry reads: "E. D. sur lequel on n'a pas beaucoup de renseignements serait, d'après les uns, un courtier en vins de Bordeaux, selon les autres un functionnaire de la Gironde. Son nom serait Dumoulin. Quoi qu'il en soit, il a publié des écrits libres, jusque vers 1900, chez H[i]rsch, chez D[u]r[i]ng[e], chez Mme R[o]b[e]rt, et chez d'autres. C'est un des plus voluptueux et le plus sensuel des auteurs sous le manteau de la fin du XIXe siècle et parlois il a de l'esprit. Ses meilleurs ouvrages sont: L'Education d'une demi-vierge, excellent roman quit devait avoir une suite, laquelle écrite, n'a jamais paru; Mémoires d'une danseuse russe, l'Odyssée d'un pantalon, Mes amours avec Victoire, Mes étapes amoureuses, Les Stations de l'amour, Les Callipyges, Jupes troussées. La reste ne vaut pas grand'chose, mais l'Education d'une demi-vierge et la Danseuse russe ont quelque sens. The force of the attribution is weakened somewhat by the fact that two of the books listed, L'Education d'une demi-vierge and Les Stations de l'amour, are by a different author entirely, most probably Adolphe Belot. Neverthless, Dumoulin's name is specifically mentioned, and I believe the source of their information to be Charles Hirsch, a French bookseller and publisher who had a shop in London in the last years of the 19th century. As a dealer in erotica, one may reasonably assume that he knew Henry Spencer Ashbee, the great English collector, and as we shall see Ashbee knew the truth of the attribution in the case of one book at least. By 1930, one of the compilers of L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale had second thoughts concerning Dumoulin. In entry no. 70.4 of his Bibliographie du Roman érotique au XIXe Siècle, Louis Perceau writes: "E. D. serait un nommé Desjardins, qui aurait été professeur de Faculté à Montpellier. Perceau's source of information is unknown to me, and neither do I know where the Christian name Emile seems first to have been used. The earliest I am aware of seems to be late 1950s reprints of Mes étapes Amoureuses which are listed below. But Edmond Dumoulin definitely wrote at least one of the 'E. D.' books, a collection of erotic verses called Rondeaux et sonnets galants (1887). Limited to just 120 copies, it is one of the rarist of the 'E. D.' books, and it is fortunate that the British Library has an exemplar in its Private Case erotica collection. It is part of the Henry Spencer Ashbee bequest, and Ashbee, who knew Auguste Brancart, the book's publisher, thoughtfully added the following pencil note to it: "Received from A. Brancart of Amsterdam. Dec. 1887. 10 francs. Author Edmond Dumoulin, St. Seurin de Cadourne, Medoc, Gironde, France." The suggestion that the pseudonym 'E. D.' might in fact belong to two separate authors with the same initials appears to have been first fielded by Peter Mendes in entry 137-A of his Clandestine Erotic Fiction in English 1800-1930. A Bibliographical Study where he points to the strong stylistic and thematic variations in the books signed 'E. D.' He develops his argument further: "…since the Ashbee note [viz. the one giving Dumoulin's name and address] appears in a copy falling into the more 'normal' heterosexial groupings, 'Desjardins' could possibly have been the author of the texts in which flagellation is the dominant motif; significantly, only 'E. D.' texts of this latter kind were translated into English in this period… Whether one author or two, all the books signed 'E. D.' were first published at Amsterdam by Auguste Brancart between 1888 (Rondeaux et sonnets) and 1892 (Maison de Verre and Mémoirs d'une danseuse russe). In all, there were eighteen separate titles published, although one of them, Après le bal (1889) was a separate publication of the third playlet included in Théâtre Naturaliste, published the same year. Nevertheless, even seventeen separate novels in the space of four years is an achievement, and lends support to Mr. Mendes' theory.
Paris: Ambert . 281pp. 2nd ed. The first of several highly popular schoolboy novels with explicit gay themes written by this French writer, who befriended Count d'Adelsward Fersen and contributed to his journal Akademos. Very good in 1/4 leather binding, original wrappers (with cover photograph by Wilhelm con Gloeden) present, light cover wear, penned signature on endpaper.
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.
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: 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.
W. Heffer & Sons Limited, (Cambridge). 8vo. 96pp. A catalogue of 1,148 items from the library of E. M. Forster at the time of his death. Contains a section of presentation copies with particularly interesting runs of titles by Forrest Reid, Charles Mauron, William Plomer, and Siegfried Sassoon. Illustrated with a photographic portrait of Forster and of his library. Very good in wrappers.
NP; NP (c 1827). 8vo. oblong (13.5 cm. x 20cm). A series of 16 hand-colored copper engravings (8" x 5.5") relating to the death and interment of Pope Pius VII and the election of Pope Leo XII (printed on rectos only). Three additional colored engravings depict Pope Leo XII and costumes of the religious order of Adoratrices. Original full limp vellum with printed vellum label on spine, tissue guards, in custom blue cloth clamshell case. Light toning to covers, damp staining to bottoms of several pages (not affecting images). Ex-collection Islay Lyons.
Lyon: Archives d'anthropologie Criminelle de Criminologie et de Psychologie normale et Pathologique. Tome XV #90: 15 November 1900. This contribution by the noted sexologist contains a number of case histories on "sexual perversions" including a discussion of "homosexualité et uranisme." He discusses the recent literature on the subject, including André Raffalovich's writings and those of other researchers. Very good in original wrappers, sunning and edgewar.
Berlin: Blaetter fuer die Kunst, 1907. 1st Edition. Hardcover. First edition of this work by one of Germany's most important poets. Inspired by the French symbolist poet Mallarmé's vision of art for its own sake, George devoted himself to the production of highly refined, often hermetic, poetry for an elite audience. Der Siebente Ring (The Seventh Ring) refers to the intimate group of devotees bound to George as Master and contains the extraordinary series of poems celebrating the youth in whose perfect beauty George saw an incarnation of godhead, the fourteen-year-old boy Max Kronberger. George eschewed all conventions and issued this work under the imprint of his own journal, Blaetter fuer Kunst, displaying the unique typography that George himself designed, with the elegant ornamented borders, mystical illustrations and book design of Melchior Lechter, so reminiscent of various fin-de-siecle crafts movements. A beautiful copy in the original purple linen with gilt ornaments and raised spine bands. Very light sunning to spine, a few very small stains to cover, gift inscription (not by the author) on endpaper (in the year of publication), small tear to front spine joint. Rare.