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Naples: Luigi Pierro (1906), 8vo. One of Douglas's early works, an account of Giordano's De Capreis insula from his Historia Neapolitana. The third in a series on Capri by the author. Original salmon wrappers stamped in black, photographic frontispiece missing (as in most copies). One of 250 copies. Woolf A9. Very good, light wear and small chips to spine.
New York Police Gazette: New York: 1 April (1882). 16pp. 4to. A provocative issue of this early New York tabloid shows four flirting women on the cover, two dressed in male attire, with the headline “they could take care of themselves.” Below the image, the caption reads: “A party of gay girls of New York bohemian circles declare their independence by dispensing with male escorts during the masquerade ball season, and enjoy a period of pleasure unadulterated by masculine restraint.” The Boulton & Park scandal in England (men cross-dressing as women) took place in the 1870s. The paper has been folded in half and there is wear around the edges, with chipping, splits and small areas of loss. There are also some margin annotations inside and the top edge of the paper has not been fully cut.
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.
Boston [c. 1966]. 179pp. 4to. Baxt's first mystery novel, and the first novel featuring the detective, Pharoah Love (the first African-American gay detective). This novel was critically acclaimed at the time for its honest portrayal of LGBTQ characters and situations. The author's working carbon copy, annotated by him throughout. Inscribed by Baxt on the title-leaf to Otto Penzler: "Dear Otto!/the best + many/thanks to you and/Caroline-/George Baxt/This is my working/copy - top copy at/Boston University - /GB". Additionally, Baxt has crossed out the original title ( Dead Cat) and has hand-printed the final title, and has written "Final/title!!" beneath it. Text on rectos only. The first few and final few leaves have marginal chipping and short tears, paper-clip markings on the title-leaf. Some occasional creasing and thumb-soiling. Housed in a lightly worn custom chemise and slipcase.
London: V. Woolf at the Hogarth Press (1931). 12mo. Dadie Rylands was a Scholar at Eton and at King ’s College, Cambridge, where he read classics and English literature. After graduation he worked for a few months at the Hogarth Press with Virginia and Leonard Woolf, who printed and published two volumes of his poetry. Poems was printed by hand by Virigina and Leonard Woolf. One of 350 numbered and signed copies (#260). Very good in decorative paper boards. First edition, first issue, with the comma after the "L" on the title-page.
Beloeil [Auguste Poulet-Malassis: 1867]. 75pp. A collection of witty and scandalous anonymous verse by the seventh Prince de Ligne, a soldier-diplomat, belle-lettrist, and notorious seducer. His subjects range from sharp reminiscences of court and military life to a lament on the difficulty of rhyming the French for “buggerer”. Despite his history of fathering numerous illegitimate children, the Prince exalts male companionship and sexuality: for example, the first poem is an ode to the virtues of masturbation, while the second is an assault on an old colonel who prevented the Prince from going on break with his young fellow officers, and the fourth is an epitaph for someone “whose ass suffered diseases that his cock escaped” and who “prayed at the brothel but got a hard-on in church.” A brief note by the Prince introduces each poem, and occasional editorial footnotes are scattered throughout. His poems are followed by a supplement from the filthy 1728 satire Histoire du prince Apprius by Pierre-François Godard de Beauchamp; an editor’s note informs us that it was read in secret by the Prince de Ligne in his adolescence. The satire’s original preface has been transposed to the end by the editor, providing this publication’s title, which, given the contents, might be better translated as Ass-backwards. This book was published in 1867 by Poulet-Malassis, a friend of Baudelaire, from one of two then-surviving exemplars of the final volume of the Prince’s light verse, privately printed ca. 1782. An interesting editorial foreword justifies its publication “for the sake of bibliophiles and learned men” while excusing the scandalous content as the kind of youthful vices “to which the entire history of polite society attests.” The colophon notes the original book was printed “without title, author, place, or date”, but in this re-edition, the still-anonymous author’s identity is only thinly disguised: Beloeil, the given place of publication, is the ancient manor of the House of Ligne. Published in an edition of 70, of which this is one of 16 on Hollande with wide margins. An exceptionally rare survival: only one institutional copy appears on WorldCat, held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Thanks to Connor Wood for the description). Réf. Vercruysse 213. - Launay, "Impressions, publications, écrits d'Auguste Poulet Malassis", Bulletin du bibliophile, 1982, II, pp. 185-208 (cit. p. 190, n° 330). - BGL III:1094 -1095. - Pia 1224. - Pas dans Drujon. - Prov. Comte Sosthène de la Rochefoucauld (note dactylogr.). - Baron de Spandl (vente Simonson, Brux., 8-04-1978, n° 6. Very good in 3/4 morocco boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, half-title has a corner missing, light wear to edges. Laid in is a 1 p. typed note indicating the book was purchased in 1951 from the Comte Sosthene de la Rochefoucauld.
[London?] : Privately printed (1899). 28pp. Two dozen poems written by various members of the Brett clan, including several by Reginald Baliol Brett, Viscount Esher. Esher had been a student of William Johnson (later Cory) at Eton and author of the Uranian collection of poetry entitled Foam. Bound in a dark green crust levant binding by Riviere; stamped in gold on spine; top edge gilt and trimmed, spine a bit dulled, light browning to first page. Undoubtedly a vanity publication intended for friends of the family, no limitation given.
Bregenz und Thüringen (2014). 104pp. Bregenz und Thüringen (2010). 116pp. The ninth publication of papers delivered at the Norman Douglas Symposium in Bregenz in 2016, including essays on Douglas and his circle. Fine in blue wrappers.
Philadelphia: CSM Press (2013). 198pp. A collection of Wilde's writings on dress and fashion, many of which have been inaccesible until now. The book contains generously annotated and illustrated chapters that analyze the importance of dress in the historical context of Wilde's career, together with a comprehensive review of the inspiration, trends, and source material that informed his philosophy. Fine in original boards, one of 100 numbered copies (#92).
Insterburg (1916). This large format vintage photograph (15" x 10.5') of an elegantly dressed man was made in February, 1916 by a professional photographer named Alphons Schmidt at his studio in Insterburg, Germany (now Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad). Blind-stamped with the photographer's name and address at bottom left, the photograph also bears marks on verso identifying the date. Very good in rustic wooden frame.
Three vintage still photographs from the film ¡Que viva México!, a project begun in 1930 by the Russian avant-garde director Sergei Eisenstein (1898–1948). Intended as an episodic portrayal of Mexican culture and politics from pre-Conquest civilization to the Mexican revolution, the film was was beset by difficulties and was eventually abandoned. A version of the film was eventually released in 1979 in a highly edited form. Two of these images were published in Kenneth Macpherson's Close Up film review and bear editorial markings and notations in Macpherson's hand. See Eisenstein, The Principles of Film Form, Close Up, Vol. VII #3, p 176; 179. Very good with general wear, one image mounted on a card (the verso image was apparently rejected and bears an X). From the library of Kenneth Macpherson.
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.
Portsmouth (2001). 16pp. Collection of homoerotic poetry first published anonymously in 1928 and here republished in a limited edition of 50 copies of which the copy offered is no. 6. The original edition was issued with a number of homoerotic photographs, not present in this edition. Fine in stiff yellow handsewn wrappers.
New York : Bibliogay.com, 2004. 85pp. The first edition of this compendium, illustrated. Fine in spiral binding.
Orioli was a Florentine bookseller best known for privately publishing the unexpurgated first edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover and for his long association with Norman Douglas. This photographic postcard (3 1/4" x 5 1/2") is inscribed "Best wishes from me and my cat/Pino"). On verso, the card is addressed to Robert Ullman and has a message dated "Xmas/1936". Very good, very light crease.
(c. 1930). A vintage original photograph of the world renowned actor, singer, scholar and political activist. (10 x 8”) from the collection of Kenneth Macpherson. The image is likely a still from the famed movie Borderline, the 1930 silent film primarily noted for its handling of the contentious issue of inter-racial relationships, using avant-garde experimental film-making techniques. Very good, a few small emulsion marks, signed by the photographer ("Shallit/NY"), crop marks on verso. the image was reproduced in the important photography journal, Close Up, which was edited by Macpherson and the Pool Group (including Bryher and HD). (See Vol. X #3, p.286.