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Frederick Rolfe, aka Baron Corvo (1860-1913) was a rather obscure figure in modernist literature, but his influence has been discerned in novels written by Henry Harland, Ronald Firbank, Graham Greene, and Alexander Theroux. His biography by A.J.A. Symons, The Quest for Corvo, is regarded as a minor classic in the field. A lengthy and revealing 4 pp. ALS letter to English poet Charles Kains Jackson, which covers a number of subjects, such as photography, Catholicism, and boys, with Rolfe thanking his friend for his "charming letter…one most grateful to me for I am undergoing one of my periodical fits of dumps." He encourages Jackson to send papers relating to photography, and then provides a description of the tombs at Ariccia near Albano, “…you may walk the 11 miles if you like…the straddling is awful. Moreover out of the crevices in the walls where you wedge your elbows dire & dreadful beasts put out horns & claws & hoofs at you like this.” Rolfe has added a pair of bold sketches here: one of a man walking gingerly into the receding tunnel, and the other of horns and claws. On the next page Rolfe adds the peculiar line “Lady Burton is a woman,” before launching into a tirade against Papists, “…I am trying to kick up some awful row about the way papist treat their converts in one of the newspapers…I've sent a letter to the Manchester Guardian.” In Miriam J. Benkovitz's biography of Rolfe, she notes this passage as being Rolfe's first attack on Catholics. He continues on and writes about ongoing paintings, an Arras, St. Edmund, and how “There is a St. Martin coming on & now what I want is a perfectly naked boy floating in mid air perpendicularly, head thrown back & arms up. I'll give him a golden bow & quiver & call him 'Love.'” He proceeds to complain that he hasn't the right bathing places to pose his boy models, and describes them as “ribald & ugly. Pose they couldn't for their lives,” comparing them unfavorably in front of the camera to the models he found in Italy. He mentions that Gleeson White has offered his 13-year-old son Eric as a model, a proposition that causes Rolfe alarm: “I am sure he regards me with a suspicious eye & expects me to give way to genuflections or some other Jesuitry.” He asks for Henry Tuke's address in order to send him some photographs, and closes with a candid statement on his "relations with boys. You know I never make friends of them now, I am too old & uninteresting. But I make them my bondslaves & worship their beauty.” In very good to fine condition, with ink erosion-related loss to the bottom of the drawing on the first page.
NP (1924). Second edition, expanded and with a new Foreword by the author. One of 2000 numbered copies printed of this collection of gay stories by the important gay activist, who was prosecuted for many of these stories when they originally appeared some years earlier. A very nice copy in terra cotta colored linen boards.
Paris: Printed for Private Distribution (Contact Editions, 1929). The author of these gay stories was a seventeenth century Japanese writer whose stories about samurai man-youth relations have been widely reprinted. The stories collected here were translated by Ken Sato and are the first English transcriptions, published by Robert McAlmon's Contact Editions. Originally intended to be a two volume book, McAlmon reported to Sylvia Beach that many of the stories "got lost in the mails," but there were still enough (111 printed pages), he reckoned, to provide amusement "without the matter getting wearisome." He had read the Sato manuscript on his trip to America and had found a pleasing naiveté in the stories as well as "situations so completely horrifying to Anglo-Saxondom" that he vowed "they'd better be done."' (Hugh Ford, Published In Paris, Garnstone Press, 1975). Very good in original lightly worn wrappers, small closed tear at head of spine. With the small bookplate of renowned gay collector Herbert Boyce Satcher on front free endpaper. One of 500 copies printed, although rarer in commerce than this would imply.
Organisation Commune des Régions Sahariennes (ND). 27pp. 4to. One of the first attempts to publish in Berber alphabet on characters engraved by the National Printing Office. Blue cardboard cover closed by a red cord, 30 drawings including 6 full-page and color, excluding text. Light wear to covers. This appears to be a reproduction of the first (1958) edition, the numbering and the text "Imprimerie Nationale de France" are missing on the back.
Paris: Librairie Generale Catholique (1922). 287pp. A fictionalized version of the events leading up the the eruption of Mt. Pele in 1902, which resulted in the death of 30,000 people around St. Pierre, the capitol. St. Pierre has been described as the Sodom of the Caribbean, a town rife with prostitution, decadence, blasphemy, homosexuality and unbelief and many believed this was the reason for the eruption. The author portrays assorted sacrileges and "decadent behavior" that occurred immediately before the eruption. Very good in original wrappers, light wear to covers and spine, pages uncut. Quite rare.
Rugby: George Over (1889). Sayle's second book of verse, highly praised by John Addington Symonds and reviewed by Charles Kains Jackson in the Artist and Journal of Home Culture. Sayle went on to become a noted bibliographer in Cambridge, where he lived most of his life. Original white buckram a little yellowed, covers a bit marked, light browning to endpapers, erratum present at rear. Inscribed by the author to Godfrey Llloyd ('Godfrey Lloyd / from / C.S. / Cambridge/ June 20. 1897.') on front endpaper. Bookplate of previous owner on front pastedown. Limited to 220 copies. Uncommon. Young 3439. d'Arch Smith 250.
Privately Printed . The ninth of the eccentric author's book productions and the first under this pseudonym. The work, a Surrealist text set around a Venutian circus, is illustrated with more than one hundred accomplished drawings by Edward Carrick. Very good in 3/4 leather boards and marbled boards, browned at edges.
[Deauville, France : Marthe Régnier, ca. 1923?]. One of a series of large folios dedicated to the Parisian beaux monde in the 1920s. Thirty-two colored illustrations all colored by hand (J. Saude) including images of Paul Poiret, Leonora Hughes, The Maharajah of Kapurthala, King Alfonso of Spain, C. Gulbnkian, the Aga Khan, Elsa Maxwell, Vionnet and many others. Many of the images bear penned identifications of those portrayed. Contemporary 3/4 leather binding with marbled paper boards and endpapers. Some wear to edges and spine, leather is a bit discolored- internally very good. Rare.
Fifty-eight book catalogues issued by the legendary bookseller. A wealth of modern literature, including many very rare books, including works by Gill, Raffalovich, Wilde, Ravilious, Corvo, Eric Gill and many others. Generally very good, staples a bit rusty, one cover detached but very good with illustrated covers. Sold as a group: #11, 25, 29, 36, 38, 39, 45, 47, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107.
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.
New York (1924). The first, and extremely uncommon, anthology of homosexual literature to be published in America. The author, a professional chemist and graduate of Columbia University, compiled the anthology anonymously and remains somewhat of a mystery today. His identity has been revealed by the research of several scholars (notably Timothy d'Arch Smith and Donald Mader) and the story of the anthology has been discussed in the only reprint of the edition (Coltsfoot Press, 1978). The anthology commences with works from ancient Hebrew literature and progresses throught the poetry of the 1920s. Included are a selection of known Uranian poets, such as Digby Mackworth Dolben, Edward Cracroft Lefroy, Edward Emmanuel Bradford, John Gambril Nicholson, John Moray Stuart-Young, Edmund John, "Philebus" (John Leslie Barford) and John Addington Symonds. But there are also some surprising contributions from more traditional poets, such as Ernest Myers, William Alexander Percy, James Fennimore Cooper, Jr., Victor Starbuck, Katherine Mansfield, Willard Wattles as well as the anthologist himself. Described by Timothy d'Arch Smith as a "startingly thorough and well-informed anthology" it remains a classic in the field of gay literature and a cornerstone of collecting in the field. According to a prospectus issued by the anthologist, the book was issued in an edition of 150 copies, but relatively few are known to exist. This is a very good copy with the original uncommon half-title page (referencing the author's pseudonym and identifying the work as a scholarly dissertation). Laid in is a 2pp ALS to Slocum from the Uranian poet Cecil Roberts who invites Slocum to meet and discuss "some of your recent work on the continent." Young 1141*. Scarce.
New York (1924). 83pp. The first, and extremely uncommon, anthology of homosexual literature to be published in America. The author, a professional chemist and graduate of Columbia University, compiled the anthology anonymously and remains somewhat of a mystery today. His identity has been revealed by the research of several scholars (notably Timothy d'Arch Smith and Donald Mader) and the story of the anthology has been discussed in the only reprint of the edition (Coltsfoot Press, 1978). The anthology commences with works from ancient Hebrew literature and progresses throught the poetry of the 1920s. Included are a selection of known Uranian poets, such as Digby Mackworth Dolben, Edward Cracroft Lefroy, Edward Emmanuel Bradford, John Gambril Nicholson, John Moray Stuart-Young, Edmund John, "Philebus" (John Leslie Barford) and John Addington Symonds. But there are also some surprising contributions from more traditional poets, such as Ernest Myers, William Alexander Percy, James Fennimore Cooper, Jr., Victor Starbuck, Katherine Mansfield, Willard Wattles as well as the anthologist himself. Described by Timothy d'Arch Smith as a "startingly thorough and well-informed anthology" it remains a classic in the field of gay literature and a cornerstone of collecting in the field. According to a prospectus issued by the anthologist, the book was issued in an edition of 150 copies, but relatively few are known to exist. Copy of Samuel Cottam, another Uranian poet with his penned and penciled notations throughout. Front endpaper has remains of a removed photograph or bookplate. Very good in original Italian paper boards, light bumping to corners, spine label missing, ttile page excised. See Rosenthal, An Arcadian Photographer in Manhattan for a thorough examination of Slocum's work.
London: George Allen & Unwin (1919). 24pp. A long and touching poem by the Uranian schoolmaster at Battersea Polytechnic School, who laments the departure of one of his students at the end of school term. The poems was apparently much admired by the fellow poet Montague Summers. The publisher Francis Edwin Murray's copy, with his small printed label on front cover and the author's name written in Murray's hand on title page. A very good copy laid into a blue cloth chemise with gilt lettering on spine, adorned with the bookplates of Timothy d'Arch Smith (by Goor) and Roger Walker, as well as a photographic image of the author. This appears to be the same copy (#80) as that catalogued by d'Arch Smith in English Homosexual Poetry of the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries: The Timothy d'Arch Smith Collection (Catalog #3 of Michael deHartington Booksellers). Young 3545*.
Asphodel Editions (2004). Hardcover. This is the revised edition of the author's 1983 bibliography of the Fortune Press. This edition includes a wealth of new material, including the identity of some of the psuedonymous authors, as well as indexes missing from the original edition. Binding is 8vo, Cloth. (vi), 115 +1 pages.
Utrecht: Gedrukt by Pieter Muntendam, naer de origineele en by den autheur ondertekende (1731). 22pp; Gedrukt voor den autheur, . 22pp. Bound with Brief aan den wydberoemden overzetter van brokstukken eniger Engelsche godsgeleerden [...] John. Emanuel Valk (1697-1732) was minister in Velzen (1723-1730) and later in Vianen. In 1730, he was suspected of sodomy and resigned from his church and moved to Utrecht, where he wrote pamphlets about his case. In 1732, he was arrested in Utrecht and handed over to the police of Vianen, where he subsequently committed suicide in his cell. The first pamphlet appears to be a variant- another issue with different pagination and the publisher's name on title page appeared in the same year. Wear to covers, issues are unbound and loose.
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.