First edition of this defence of Wilde by his loyal friend, composer and pianist, Dalhousie Young.more...
‘Published after Oscar Wilde's trial, during which Wilde's works were used as evidence of his ‘immorality'’ Apologia pro Oscar Wilde sets out to defend Wilde and his writing. Dalhousie Young argues that a work of fiction is not automatically a work of autobiography; fiction does reveal an author's inner secrets or true character. Powerfully, Young furthermore publicly questions whether it is right that sexual acts between two consenting adults of the same sex should be outlawed (see p. 38), or looked upon as a ‘sin’’ (British Library).
This is the second of two issues of the first edition, distinguished by its darker wrapper..see full details
Cross-dressing was not uncommon in nineteenth-century Paris, with prominent women such as George Sand and painter Rosa Bonheur regularly adopting male clothing.more...
But it was (at least in theory) subject to legal restriction, with cross-dressing women required by an ordonnance of 1800 to obtain a Permission de travestissement, and the topic was often discussed. This rare mid-century lithograph shows a young woman who has discarded the fussy trappings of contemporary women’s fashion (a bonnet and full length dress) in favour of shirt, trousers and stove-pipe hat. She considers herself in the mirror and a mask lies ready on her dressing table, suggesting she is dressing for a ball..see full details
A collection of homoerotic lithographs by Jean Boullet, an iconic gay artist who proclaimed himself simply as a ‘painter of masculine beauty,’ which is precisely what he does here in these illustrations. One of 467 copies on Vélin de Lana, (there are a further 33 examples on Vélin d’Arches, with drawing, total edition 500)..see full details
A collection of characteristic homoerotic lithographs by Jean Boullet, an openly homosexual artist who proclaimed himself simply as a ‘painter of masculine beauty’. Number 181 of 467 copies on Vélin de Lana, (there are a further 33 examples on Vélin d’Arches, with an original drawing, total edition 500)..see full details
Liseux was a pioneering figure in the publication of clandestine literature in English, working from Paris, but evidently supplying an English market. His publications were frequently scholarly texts in the history of sexuality and found their way onto the shelves of bibliophiles and collectors of erotica. Not generally been noted, the title here finds an echo the following year with the famous phrase ’The love that dare not speak its name’ in the poem ‘Two Loves’ by Lord Alfred Douglas, published in 1894, later discussed at length in the Wilde trial..see full details
A rare highwayman’s narrative, purporting to be an autobiography handed by Munn to the Yarmouth gaoler on the morning of his execution. Thomas Munn of Benenden and Canterbury was one of Kent’s less illustrious exports. From a relatively prosperous family of Kentish brick-makers he became notorious in Canterbury as a cheat and bogus wine merchant before decamping for Essex where he met his end; being hanged for robbing the Yarmouth mail. The first-person narrative contains many fascinating episodes, including the account of a same-sex encounter in a Southampton Inn. Munn was joined in bed by the son of the innkeeper on the pretext of keeping warm, who then admitted, ‘I love to lie with a naked man’ and began ‘to act a Part so Contradictory to Nature’ that Munn leapt up and threatened him with a penknife. He reflected: ‘It was what I never met with before, no since, but had Philosophy enough in me, to think it a pity to expose a young Man, tho’ he pointed at a very heinous Sin; and certainly we that commit Crimes beyond what is common, ought to be pitied, for no Man is certain if he comes under the same Temptation, that he shall be able to withstand it...’
The Huntington library holds a copy (perhaps unique) with variant imprint, also giving Harris as bookseller, but with Essex and Suffolk booksellers named..see full details