Rare and old gay, lesbian and transgender books and ephemera

Founded in 2009, Arbery Books is the UK's leading online dealer in rare and secondhand books and ephemera of gay, lesbian and transgender interest. Our other fields of interest are sexuality in general, antiquarian (pre-1900) curiosities, erotica and sexual behaviour, and early science-fiction and fantasy.

We ship worldwide, usually within one working day of receiving an order. £ prices include UK postage and packing. $ includes to the USA and € includes postage within the eurozone.

May 2015

The latest addition to our stock is a first edition A New Shirt by reclusive Irish writer Desmond Hogan. Previously, we added erotic magazines from the 1970s and 1980s, mostly from the USA and continental Europe. Titles include Hot Rods in Action, Male Lovers and Supergay. If you are at least eighteen years old, check them out here.

Other recently listed books include a rare inscribed copy of Stephen Spender's novel about youth and hedonism in pre-Nazi Germany and three new physique magazines from the 1950s.

Joining our small Sci-Fi & Fantasy section is the very rare The Other Man - the novelisation of a 1964 Granada tv production, featuring Michael Caine and John Thaw, about an alternate 1940s where peace between the UK and Germany leads to the gradual Nazification of Britain - and ends in near-immortality for the chosen few.

Our latest catalogue features the US American black, gay novelist, essayist, poet, playwright and political activist James Baldwin. We have a wide range of books by and about this literary giant of the twentieth

Langston Hughes' prolific output revealed very little of his homosexuality
century in many different editions. Coincidentally, we also have a rare complete 16-volume set of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes issued by the University of Missouri press in 2001-2003.

Other recent catalogues include Italian film-maker, novelist and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and French convict and writer Jean Genet. And for those customers who do speak French - or who just want to look at the pictures - we recently uploaded a large collection of the pioneering French gay magazine Gai Pied. While we're in France, we can offer nineteenth century lesbians in this story from a French magazine in 1894. Continuing the French theme, we have two editions of Le Rire magazine from the 1920s, which allude to lesbianism in cartoons and which carry advertisements for those all-important transvestite needs. And let's not forget Frenchwoman Maryse Choisy, who claimed in the 1920s to have undergone breast reduction surgery in order to spend a month as a man in the all-male religious enclave of Mount Athos; her story was translated into English in 1962 and is almost impossible to get hold of - but we have a copy here.


The Songs of Meleager

translated by
Frederick Rolfe with Sholto Douglas


My Unique Change
Hedy Jo Star

the true story of all-American boy becoming all woman

First edition: 1965

Gai Pied
la voix des pédés français

the ground-breaking French magazine

1979 - 1991
from £6 / €10 per issue

Lewd Latin Laughter

Latin verses dedicated to Priapus
and the joys of sex


Recent sales

We have said goodbye to Rictor Norton's Mother Clap's Molly House, the groundbreaking study of Gay Subculture in England 1700 - 1830, for £40. Before that there were signed copies of Michael Hill's Queer People (1932), which was rewritten as Tragedy in Jermyn Street (1934): £400 for the pair. In both plays, two young men who had sexual relations in school meet again ten years later by chance when one is about to get married. There is no evidence that either drama had a professional production, but the second is definitely stronger and merits reviving as a melodrama. Among other rare works that have gone were a first edition Post-Mortem - a play written by Noël Coward in 1930 and not produced on stage until 1992 - and lesbian writer Natalie Clifford Barney's hermaphrodite fantasy, The One Who Is Legion (1930 first edition, for £200).

Other sales have been mostly first edition fiction, including James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room; Frederick Rolfe's Nicholas Crabbe or The One and The Many, with an introduction by Cecil Woolf; Blair Niles' Strange Brother; Kenneth Martin's Waiting for the Sky to Fall; Neville Jackson's No End To The Way; Damon Galgut's Small Circle of Beings and Maxence van der Meersch's Mask of Flesh (1st English language edition). Two Frederick Rolfe titles from the Cecil Woolf imprint have also gone, but we still have a rare first edition of Rolfe's Hadrian VII for sale.

We have also said goodbye to Sixteen and a Half from the increasingly rare Diary of the Teens series from the Fortune Press. From our foreign-language books we sold a 1955 edition of Roger Peyrefitte's L'Exilé de Capri about the notorious Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen; (We still have Fifteen and Sixteen for sale here and are always interested in buying these and other Fortune Press titles and Roger Peyrefitte in English or French.) Our stock of 1970s cheap erotic fiction - including such forthright titles as 3 Way - The Only Way, Brother Stud and The Hole Thing - is also going down, but we still have a stock of similar books here.

Non-fiction sold includes Private, the gay erotic artwork of Bloomsbury artist Duncan Grant. We also let go of a first UK edition of Robert Anderson's 1950s play about homophobia and suppressed homosexuality at an exclusive US boarding-school, Tea and Sympathy. We continue to sell from our collection of periodicals from the 1950s onwards, including photo magazines such as MANual, the ground-breaking Christopher Street and our last copy of TIMM (The International Male Magazine), a late 1960s British publication that combined upmarket fashion with tastefully posed nude males and articles designed to appeal to the self-aware, but closeted homosexual of the time. Our stock of early Millivres magazines is down to a few examples of Him and Zipper, available here - and we still have a handful of interesting magazines from the 1950s and 1960s here.

Finally, from our very small Sci-Fi and Fantasy section we sold a first edition of H G Wells' The War of the Worlds; it had several defects and went for the knockdown price of £130.


We have books and ephemera in several languages, including this playscript and theatre programme from a 1980 play about male prostitution in Brazil.


La Secte des Anandrynes /
Confession de Mademoiselle Sapho
Reprint of a 1784 publication about a secret society of lesbians in the upper ranks of French society

Of interest . . .


young Moroccan man leaves his male lover for a woman


classic 1970s erotica - some with interesting stories


The Songs of Bilitis
in the original French


biography of the
iconoclastic writer


portraits of the famous company


Richard Amory's classic novel of father-son conflict

Periodicals and Ephemera

Physique magazines from the 1950s; gay lifestyle magazines from the 1960s onwards. UK, US and many other countries.

periodicals in English
periodicals in other languages

Leaflets, political documents, travel guides etc, 1970s onwards, from several countries.

gay ephemera

Books wanted

We buy old and rare gay, lesbian and transgender books, periodicals and ephemera. We are primarily interested in hardbacks and periodicals published before 1990 and paperbacks and ephemera published before 1980, but we consider all offers. We also buy rare books of any subject matter. Contact us if you have a single copy or a whole library for sale.
books on our wanted list

Theme Pages

See our current stock by / about / from

Jean Cocteau

Jean Genet

André Gide

Joseph Hansen

The Fortune Press
Robin Maugham

James Purdy

Frederick Rolfe / Baron Corvo

Oscar Wilde & Lord Alfred Douglas

Arbery Books also sells secondhand and rare mainstream titles.

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