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Clermont-Ferrand: Les Éditions du bon vieux temps (1954). 68pp. An uncommon erotic text with six explicit illustrations, which originally appeared in 1926. This edition was limited to 150 numbered copies and is quite uncommon. Very good in wrappers, light wear and fading to covers. Dutel, 1624, Pia 298-299, Perceau 337 (1926 edition).
London: Duckworth (1929). 63pp. Two long poems and several songs with a "macabre and terrifying beauty" (according to the jacket). Warmly inscribed to Pavel Tchelitchew on endpaper. Sitwell was besotted with Tchelitchew for many years and he painted several portraits of her. Very good in lightly worn wrappers.
London: Duckworth (1928). 4to. 131pp. 1st Edition. Hardcover. A survey of London statues, illustrated throughout with Hamnett's delightful interpretations. Included are images of Shakespeare, Achilles, The Fat Boy (at Pie Corner) and various others. A very good copy in lightly worn boards, light spotting to foredege, very good illustrated jacked, lightly worn and marked with small abrasions. Inscribed by Sitwell to John Arlott. Laid into the book are 2 entertaining letters (6pp.) by Sitwell to another friend (one dated 1933) referencing Adrian Stokes, Herbert Read, his troubled relationship with his father, his brother Sacheverell and assorted other affairs. With envelopes, appearing to date from the 1930s.
London: Printed for M. Downing, in Bartholomew-Close, near West-Smithfield (1738). 28pp. The Society for the Reformation of Manners was founded in the Tower Hamlets area of London in 1691. Its espoused aims were the suppression of profanity, immorality, and other lewd activities in general, and of brothels and prostitution in particular. One of many similar societies founded in that period, it reflected a sea-change in the social attitudes in England following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and a shifting from the socially liberal attitudes of the Restoration period under Charles II and James II to a more moral and censorious attitude of respectability and seriousness under William and Mary. This document notes that "Great numbers of Bawdy-houses, Sodomitical haunts, Common gaming-houses, and other Disorderly houses, have been suppressed and shut up; and the streets very much purg'd from the Wretched tribe of Night-walking Prostitutes and most detestable Sodomites." The Society flourished until the 1730s, with 1,363 prosecutions in 1726-7. There was a series of raids on "molly houses" (homosexual brothels) in 1725. One prominent victim of the Society was Charles Hitchen, a "thief-taker" and Under City Marshal. He acted as a "finder" of stolen merchandise, negotiating a fee for the return of the stolen items, while extorting bribes from pickpockets to prevent arrest, and leaning on the thieves to make them fence their stolen goods through him. His business may have been undermined by the success of his competitor Jonathan Wild. In 1727, Hitchen was accused of sodomitical practices, and tried for sodomy (a capital offence) and attempted sodomy. He was sentenced to a fine of 20 pounds, to be put in the pillory for one hour, and then to serve six months in prison. He was badly beaten while in the pilory, and died soon after being released from prison. Very good, disbound from another volume, but intact otherwise. Uncommon.
London: Chatto & Windus (1889). The first published collection of Uranian poetry, according to the scholar Timothy d'Arch Smith in his definitive treatise on the subject, Love in Earnest (pp.24-27). The book was issued while the author lived in exile in France after a scandal involving a seventeen year old boy with whom he had become besotted had forced him to leave England, leaving a scandal in his wake. The poems in this volume deal directly with this ill-fated love affair and were reviewed by Oscar Wilde in the Pall Mall Gazette in the year of publication (‘He has nothing to say and says it’.) Some have argued that the aristocrat who perverts Dorian Gray in Wilde's novel (Lord Henry) was in fact modeled after Somerset. Very good in original parchment boards, light cover wear, spine gutters cracking a bit, spine a bit dulled.
Macmillan: London (1891). 318pp. The first of the "Arcadian" English public-school novels written four years before the Wilde prosecution. The story revolves around the love between two Eton boys- "thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." Forrest Reid, among others, admired the work and admitted that it emboldened him to write his Garden God on a similar theme. Edward Prime-Stevenson called the book "strikingly pathetic, graceful and delicately written." It was also much admired by E. M. Forster, Henry James and Edith Wharton. The book was written pseudonymously and went through several printings. Good in original blue boards, slight spine roll, bumps to edges, a few pages roughly opened, rear hinge splitting, wear to spine. Young 3696*.
A small collection of 12 printed ephemeral items, Christmas cards, and assorted other printed matter from one of the great Dutch printers. Many of the items are hand-colored and several are signed by the publisher/printer Ger Gleis. Works by James Purdy, William Blake, Sandro Penna and others are included. All near fine. Along with R. Breugelmans' bibliography of the press, 107 maal: Sub Signo Libelli (1/400 numbered copies).
Paris: A. Tolmer, [ca 1912]. 4to. Thevenaz was a Swiss-born artist, set designer and dancer who painted portraits of many of the great personalities of the early part of the twentieth century. He was briefly a lover of Jean Cocteau and collaborated with Stravinsky and others associated with the Ballets Russes in Paris. Prior to his painting career, he was actively involved with the Eurythmics dance movement founded in 1905 by the Swiss musician Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. He came to the United States after the first World War, receiving numerous mural commissions for estates on Long Island and Manhattan town houses, but died tragically in 1921. This edition illustrates the principles of eurythmics and is illustrated throughout with black and white drawings by the artist. Quite rare. Very good in wrappers, neatly taped at spine.
Paris: Méricant (1902). A decadent erotic novel with androgynous characters, illustrated with 25 black and white illustrations by Maurice Neumont. The author of more than forty books, many on similar themes, she was widely respected in fin de siecle literary circles. A very good copy in illustrated lightly worn wrappers, slight roll to spine.
Imprimé sous le manteau et ne se vend nulle part. [Paris: Albert Messein, 1903.] In-12 (183 x 116 mm). The first edition of Verlaine's explicit paean to homosexual love, which includes the "Sonnet au trou-du-cul" written in collaboration with his lover Arthur Rimbaud. The editor Le Dantec refused to include this collection in the modern critical edition of Verlaine's complete works. Enfer 1151. Pia 601 A beautiful copy of the special edition, limited to 25 (this is copy #1), bound in full morocco, signed H. Duhayon, raised bands, edges gilt, original wrappers present, wood slipcase, ex libris of Henri Fischer. With the holograph corrections to the page numbers (46. 47. 48) Van Bever & Monda, p. 67; Carteret Romantique II, p. 435; Paul Verlaine, Oeuvres poétiques complètes, Pléiade, p. 1375; Pia Enfer, 650; Dutel I, p. 170, N° 397*.