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.

January 2015

Books ordered in the third week of the month will be sent out on 24th January; apologies for any inconvenience.

Thanks to all our customers in 2014, who gave us our best sales year since we opened in 2009. That has allowed us to continuing purchasing rare books and ephemera that are often sold as quickly as we find them. In 2015 our first priority is preparing a catalogue of James Baldwin books. In the meantime, check out our most recent catalogue, on Pier Paolo Pasolini, and, if you speak French - or just want to look at the pictures - we've uploaded a large collection of the pioneering French gay magazine Gai Pied.

Previously we launched our Jean Genet catalogue - a selection of nearly new volumes by and about the iconoclastic French writer. Peruse or download it here. In addition, other catalogued books included:

Pre-Second World War: bisexual novelist David Garnett's Go She Must!, about a clergyman's daughter disappointed in love; Norman Douglas' thick and sometimes eccentric autobiography Looking Back; and A Class Apart, James Gardiner's 1992 selection of the private photographs of good-looking men, taken by World War One hero Montague Glover.

From 1965 comes My Unique Change by Hedy Jo Star, previously known as Carl Hammonds - "the unique story of the first man in America to become a woman". 1972 sees The Gay Crusaders - interviews with 15 lesbian and gay activists.

Other recently catalogued titles include volume 8 / 9 of The European Gay Review, with fiction, poetry and essays by such writers as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Christoph Geiser, Gregory Woods, Jeremy Reed, Ferenc Karinthy, Andrew Holleran, Yves Navarre and Jean Cocteau; and

Damon Galgut (1988)
Sweet Tea, E Patrick Johnson's fascinating study of black gay men in the southern United States - which both confirms and demolishes stereotypes of race, sexuality and Southern lives.

Newly added fiction includes a signed first edition of Edmund White's The Beautiful Room Is Empty, Damon Galgut's collection Small Circle of Beings and a rare example of Sixteen and a Half (1940), from the Diary of the Teens series, about life at a British boarding school in the early 20th century.
Lesbians in 1894? Yes, according to this story and illustration from a French magazine that year: details. From 1771 we have a cartoon depicting the celebrated French transvestite, the Chevalier d'Eon. And from 1927, continuing the French theme, we have two editions of Le Rire magazine, which contain both allusions to lesbianism in cartoons and advertisements for transvestites.
Among our non-LGT titles... in our antiquarian section we have a four-volume set of Spenser's The Faerie Queene. Finally, we have added to our small Sci-Fi and Fantasy section The World in 2030 A.D., published in 1930 and, in common with all such books, telling us much more about the age in which it is written than about the future it describes.


Taking It Like A Man
Adrian Caesar

Suffering, sexuality and the war poets: Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, Rupert Brooke

First edition: 1993

Stories Toto Told Me
Baron Corvo

An Italian peasant youth and his
religious stories: the first six to appear
in book form

First edition: 1898

Lewd Latin Laughter

Latin verses dedicated to Priapus
and the joys of sex


The Erotic World
Peter de Rome

Autobiography of the ground-breaking
gay erotic film director

First edition: 1984

Recent sales

We have been closed for the part of January but still sold several key titles, including a rare example of the Fortune Press publication Rococo Coffin by Richard Blake Brown (£125), Bernard Sargent's authoritative Homosexuality in Greek Myth, a first edition (1960) of Carlo Coccioli's gay romance The Eye and the Heart, Bruce Rodgers' ground-breaking study of gay slangThe Queens' Vocabulary and a first UK edition of Joseph Hansen's first Dave Brandstetter novel, Fadeout.

In December we sold several early issues of the ground-breaking British newspaper Gay News; the novel The Facts of Life, inscribed by the author, Patrick Gale; H A N Brockman's biography of William Beckford, The Caliph of Fonthill; a first UK edition of Fritz Peters' Finistère; Noel Coward's rarely performed play Peace In Our Time; a 1771 cartoon depicting the transvestite French diplomat and spy, the Chevalier d'Eon; and lesbian fiction by popular author Ann Bannon, Odd Girl Out. From our mainstream collection we have said goodbye to a first edition of Elizabeth Smart's poetic novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. The last departure of the year was the Earl of Birkenhead's The World in 2030 A.D., published in 1930; like most futurists, most of his predictions were way off mark.

November sales began with the sale of the 1979/80 London Gay City Map from Spartacus, complete with long-haired, moustachioed, tight-trousered tourists on the cover, standing beside a bemused beefeater. That was followed by the first UK publication of Jean Genet's The Thief's Journal, signed by early UK homosexual rights advocate Peter Wildeblood; a paperback edition of James Barr's 1966 novel of "the strange world of forbidden love", The Occasional Man; a first edition of Lord Alfred Douglas' first book of poetry (the last for a bargain £240); a thick volume of Robert Mapplethorpe's Pictures; an early edition of Oscar Wilde's Salomé with Aubrey Beardsley illustrations for £60; and several less rare volumes.

A regular buyer of old periodicals bought the last of our issues of Kurt and Quorum magazines, in addition to the single issue of a pre-Millivres Gay Times. He is now looking for old Square Peg and 1950s - 1980s photoshoots of young men, clothed or unclothed, for the gay market. Let us know if you can help. Finally, we have ended the month selling a collection of lesbian titles bought as Christmas presents, including two first edition Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself by Radclyffe Hall, two books by Vita Sackville-West and a first edition Olivia (Dorothy Bussy) from 1949.


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


pictures by Bloomsbury painter Duncan Grant


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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