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Paris, La Centaine (1926). These 222 letters from Remy de Gourmont addressed to Natalie Clifford Barney during the years 1910 to 1915, serve, as the recipient wrote, both of "preface, comment and conclusion to Letters to the Amazon", published in 1914. Illustrated with 52 original lithographs by Rouveyre. One of 100 special copies on Japon, this example #3. Warmly inscribed by the illustrator, and signed by Edouard Champion and Natalie Barney on title page. Bound in 1/2 morocco, front panel very weak, light wear to boards, some light foxing on tissue guards.
The artist, a bi-sexual Englishman, was one of the more prominent purveyors of nude male magazines and photographs in the post-war period, some of which earned him time in prison. He published magazines such as "Man to Man" and "Golden Boys" and assorted others, but he also self-published several books with more serious allusions, such as the "Superb Youth," series which attempt to cross the line into more conventional "artist's books." Notwithstanding this pretense, the books contain a wealth of well-endowed and quite attractive young men in assorted provocative poses. This profile portrait on “scraper board” measures 15.25” x 12”, signed “JB ’59” at lower left, a few light surface cracks.
Utrecht: Gedrukt by Pieter Muntendam, naer de origineele en by den autheur ondertekende (1731). 22pp; Gedrukt voor den autheur, . 12pp. 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. Two in a series of contemporaneous pamphlets issued about the case, very good, unbound, slightly yellowed with edgewear.
Three TLS and one typed card from Williams to collector Anthony Reid, all dated 1980. Williams was the longtime principal of the Jargon Society, the important small-press publisher founded in 1951 by Williams. The amusing letters are filled with book gossip and reference Ralph Chubb, Ian Young and a number of shared interests. Very good, laid into a custom paper envelope by Reid, along with his Ralph Chubb bookplate.
Bruxelles: Imprimerie particulière (1925). The original edition of these three erotic poems appeared under a false date and publisher in 1923 in an edition of 150 copies. This edition is limited to 30 copies (#18) and contains the controversial Sonnet du Trou du Cul. Not listed in Pia, nor do we find any institutional copies. Very good in paper wrappers, lightly browned, a few small stains to prelims.
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. 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), a few penciled notations in text. Laid in is a 1pp typescript of three poems that are included in the text on page 64, perhaps by Slocum. This copy bears an inscription from the author to Herbert Boyce Satcher (signed "E.E." [his pseudonym Edwin Edwinstone]). Satcher and Slocum were friends and shared similar homosexual interests. See Rosenthal, An Arcadian Photographer in Manhattan for a thorough examination of Slocum's work.
London: The Academy Publishing Company (1909). 30pp. The first collection of these sonnets, which include one dedicated to his soon to be estranged wife Olive Custance. Good in buff paper boards, bookplate on pastedown, some staining and wear to covers. Warmly inscribed to Christopher Jarchow (in 1931). Custom chemise and slipcase.
Albert Wainwright (1898-1943) was born in Castleford and studied at Leeds School of Art, where he was friends with fellow student, Henry Moore. He was a prolific artist and illustrator, primarily in a post-Beardsley and Viennese secessionist manner. He found early success with a one-man show in Leeds, at the age of 22, followed by a show at the Goupil Gallery in London. He traveled extensively to Germany and Austria, where these images were created. One verso is another gouache drawing: “Gentleman in traditional costume, Salzburg.” Both images are ink and wash drawings, unframed, unsigned, (25cm x 18cm).
London : John F. Shaw and Co., . 383pp. An historical novel about Gavestone, the favorite of King Edward II. It was alleged by medieval chroniclers that Edward II and Piers Gaveston were lovers, a rumour that was reinforced by later portrayals in fiction, such as Christopher Marlowe's late 16th-century play Edward II. An uncommon book, very good in illustrated boards, with light wear.
Toulon, G. Mouton 1927 (3rd). This collection of Provencal recipes bears the signature of Richard Olney on endpaper (along with the stamp of Time-Life books). Original wrappers present, rebound in maroon buckram.
Lisbao: Olisipo (1922). The second edition of these controversial poems, many of which are explicitly homosexual in content and which created a furor when published in this ediiton. The previous year, Botto had published the first edition of the poems, which were largely ignored until his friend Fernando Pessoa issued the present edition under his Olisipo imprint and publicly praised the poems. Conservatives reacted strongly against the poems, calling them "sodom's literature" and the book was banned by the authorities in 1923. Catholic college students clamored for a burning of the book, but Botto refused to apologize for his work. Botto was openly homosexual throughout his life and later struggled to survive by writing children's books and short essays. Pessoa, Portugal's pre-eminent modernist literary figure, considered Botto the only Portuguese poet worthy of the label "aesthete" and, as a critic and publisher, championed his work. Pessoa translated the poems into English, which were eventually published in 1948 (see below). To publicize the book, Pessoa wrote a provocative article, published in the journal Comtemporânea, (see below) praising the author’s courage and sincerity for shamelessly singing homosexual love as a true aesthete. Pessoa's article prompted the critic Alvaro Maia to excoriate Botto’s work, which was then followed by another article by Raul Leal (an openly homosexual writer, friend of Pessoa). Conservatives reacted and complained to the authorities about the work’s immorality ("Sodom's literature") and the book was confiscated by the authorities in 1923. The Liga de Acção dos Estudantes de Lisboa [Lisbon Students Action League], a Catholic college students group (lead by Pedro Teotónio Pereira) clamored for an auto-da-fé of Botto's book and someone even suggested the author should be hanged. Nevertheless, most artists and intellectuals promptly took up his defence in several polemic articles. Eventually, the scandal subsided, the next year the ban was lifted and until the end of his life Botto would publish several revised versions of the book. His work was applauded by Antonio Machado, Miguel de Unamuno, Camilo Pessanha, Virginia Woolf, Teixeira de Pascoaes, José Régio, Luigi Pirandello, Stefan Zweig, Rudyard Kipling, James Joyce and Federico García Lorca. A very good copy in the original printed wrappers, with the original frontispiece photograph of the author, bound in later marbled boards. A laudatory review of Botto's work by Jayme de Balsemão appears at the end of the book. His work has been widely praised by fellow writers, including James Joyce among others. See also, Leal, Sodoma Divinisada, (see below) which praises Botto's courage for writing about gay subjects.
Paris Issue 6: 15 Juin (1909). FERSEN, Jacques d'Adelsward. Akademos: Revue Mensuelle d'Art Libre et de Critique. Paris Issue 5: 15 Mai 1909. . Akademos: Revue Mensuelle d'Art Libre et de Critique. Paris (15 Janvier 1909). 160pp. Issue Number 5 of this short-lived monthly literary review, considered one of the first gay magazines published. Very good in original wrappers, light browning and edgewear, occasional spotting.
Paris: Figuiere . 30pp. A short play script/poem about a romantic drama among two men and a women. Bound in handmade boards, title written on cover, long inscription by the author on endpaper, along with an original drawing adhered to front pastedown, tassled thread, bookplate of Octave Chavaillon. Laid in at rear is a 4pp (1 sheet folded) printed collection of five sonnets entitled "Antinous", each of which are initialed by the author, who has also inscribed and numbered the collection. A curious publication-we can find no example in any institution, nor any other works published by the author.
Paris: Mercure de France (1899). 261pp. The second edition of this controversial gay novel, which was prosecuted for pederastic content in a widely publicized case. After a storm of protest and support from numerous literary celebrities, Eekhoud was eventually acquitted and the book has remained one of the foundational works of modern gay literature. Very good in period binding, original wrappers not present, light wear.
Upsala: Esaias Edquist (1880). 38pp. Carl Pontus Wikner (19 May 1837 - 16 May 1888) was a famed Swedish lecturer in philosophy and is considered one of the founders of the homosexual liberation movement in Sweden. Against the argument that homosexuality is unnatural, he answered that only that which according to the laws of nature cannot occur is unnatural. And nothing is bad which does not injure or harm any person. He pleaded to all future readers to give homosexuals the right to get married. Very good in original wrappers, small closed tears to covers. Rare.