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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: Albin Michel (1928). An uncommon gay novel set in a Montmartre gay bar which accurately reflects the decadence of the 1920s through the eyes of the bar's owner Horace and his much younger lover. Very good in original wrappers by Vertes, light edgewear, wrinkling to spine. One of 10 special copies on Mongolfier (#9). Quite uncommon.
Paris: L'Édition Moderne (1906). later ed. One of the highly romantic gay novels about intense schoolby love written by the pseudononymous author in the early years of the twentieth century. These novels had a great following at the time and were reviewed by Prime-Stevenson in his classic, The Intersexes. Good in illustrated wrappers, covers a little browned and spotted, wear to spine, pages uncut, small chip to rear cover, front wrapper partially split at hinge.
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: 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, 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.
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: Èditions de la Mandragore [ c.1927 ]. 29pp. 8vo. Paul Souday (1869-1929) was one of the most important French literary critics of his time and the author of biographies of Gide, Proust and Valéry. Although very traditional in his tastes, he engaged in an extended correspondence with Proust and wrote his obituary for the New York Times. Nonetheless, Souday often fulminated with homophobic diatribes, including this excerpt in an essay on Gide's Les Faux Monnayeurs: "[There are] annoying analogies between André Gide's various heroes and Mr. Charlus and his friends. Oh! There is no crudity in the language here. All of this is discrete, veiled, and a very innocent reader would not necessarily understand what it's all about. On the other hand, it's all too clear. Truly, it becomes intolerable, especially with Gide's seriousness and insipid sentimentality." (See Levitz, Modernist Mysteries: Persephone @ 267.) Souday had presented a questionnaire on the subject of homosexuality to a number of other homophobic French writers in in 1926 edition of the literary journal Les Marges, which perhaps was the impetus for the present publication. The edition contains a number of short essays on a range of "issues" related to homosexuality and we surmise that the author was in fact submitting a parody of Souday and his compatriots. Very good in original stapled wrappers. Quite rare, no institutional copies located.
Lyon: Bosc (1935). 100pp. An interesting doctoral dissertation dealing with the question of assorted "perversions" engaged in by members of the French army, with an extended case studies and descriptions of homosexual behavior. Inscribed by the author on endpaper. Quite uncommon. very good in very good, lightly worn 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.
Daniel O'Connor, London. 1922. Hardcover. Cream colored buckram bindign with gilt decorative cover and spine, top edge gilt, decorative endpapers. Frontispiece portrait of Gay, plus fifteen full page illustrations and facsimile of original title page. (i)-xxiv, 91 pages, including Bibliography, Index and Notes. Endpapers lightly browned, covers lightly rubbed and marked. Very good. Reprinted from the 1716 first edition.