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.
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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.
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: 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, small closed tear on rear wrapper.
Richmond: Printed by Leonard & Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press (1920). The classic short story relates the unsettling story of a sea nymph and an ill fated young Sicilian boy. The type was set by Virginia Woolf and the edition is limited to 500 unnumbered copies in various states with a list of the Hogarth's publications at the end. Kirkpatrick A6: Woolmer 9. Very good in original decorative wrappers, sheets uncut, light edgewear and sunning to spine.
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.
Treptow-Berlin :Bernhard Zacks Verlag (1908). xv, 322p. + 88p. The second edition of the pioneering gay activist's magnum opus which served as a manifesto for the revival of Grecian male bonding, ranging from close friendship to homosexual activity. His Gemeinschaft der Eigenen (Community of the Exceptional), founded a year before the publication of Renaissance, "demonstated a decidedly hostile attitude towards the modern era [which made] difficult, if not impossible, the untiy of body and soul." A very good copy in original blue linen boards with decorative gilt titling, light wear to covers, penciled underlining throughout.
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.
Leipzig: Leipziger Verlag, . Fuchs was a leading member of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee and published a number of essays on homosexuality in various publications. He is particularly known for his work Richard Wagner und die Homosexualität, published the previous year. Keilson-Lauritz, Dis Geschichte der eigenen Geschichte; Eldorado 1984 @ 49; Hergmöller, Mann für Mann @ 257-58. Good in rather worn wrappers, wear at spine. Quite uncommon. $425.
New York (1998). 72pp. Issue #26 of the eclectic and stylish "magazine" of photography and fashion. Photographs by Jack Pierson, Carter Smith, David Byrne, Mario Testino, and many others. The issue is enclosed in a round box, with the photographs on individual unbound sheets, with a mask by Hermes laid into the box. As issued.
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.
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.
Berlin: Blaetter für die Kunst (1907). 4to. 53 pp. The lavishly produced tribute create by Stefan George to honor his talented young consort, Maximilian Kronberger. George's homosexuality is most clearly revealed in the love poetry he devoted to Kronberger, whom he identified as a manifestation of the divine. Kronberger died unexpectedly of meningitis in 1904 on the day after his 16th birthday. Deified by George, the cult of 'Maximin' became an integral part of the George circle. Printed in red and black with gold embossed cover drawing by Melchior Lechter and gilt edges. One of 200 numbered copies printed on Japanese paper, vellum boards, gilt edges, decorative devices throughout. photographic frontispiece. A stunning example of a very rare book.
Paris: L'Édition Moderne . 287pp. A novel centered around the story of Antinoüs and his love for the Emperor Hadrian. One of several collaborations between the two accomplished authors. A good copy in decorative wrappers, light wear to covers with small chips and closed tears to wrappers. It appears the original wrappers have been tipped on to a replacement paper spine. Warmly inscribed by both authors on endpaper.