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.

December 2014

Thanks to a large purchase of books earlier in the year, our focus this month is preparing catalogues. The first of these, on Pier Paolo Pasolini, is now online. James Baldwin, Paul Bowles and Langston Hughes will appear shortly. In the meantime we have taken time to upload a large collection of the pioneering French gay magazine Gai Pied.

In November 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, newly 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.


RARE




Taking It Like A Man
Adrian Caesar



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


First edition: 1993
£140



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
£275
SECONDHAND




Erotopaegnion
Lewd Latin Laughter



Latin verses dedicated to Priapus
and the joys of sex


1798
£75






The Erotic World
Peter de Rome



Autobiography of the ground-breaking
gay erotic film director


First edition: 1984
£40


Recent sales

This month we have 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; 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.


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.


In October an 1899 edition of The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Prisoner C.3.3. (Oscar Wilde) was freed from our care for a mere £25.50 in our sale (now over, although a few higher-priced items are now permanently cheaper). In a pleasing coincidence we sold paperback and hardback versions of Rudi van Dantzig's For A Lost Soldier to different buyers on the same day (£42.50 and £127.50 respectively). We have also said goodbye to George W Henry's Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns, published in 1950 and weighing over 1kg (2lbs for older readers), as well as the first US edition of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom, an equally heavy tome. Much slimmer, and at a mere £30, was The Green Bay Tree, a play whose gay subject matter made it notorious when it premiered in 1933, and which will be revived at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London at the end of November.


OTHER LANGUAGES


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







LESBIAN INTEREST


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 . . .



TIME TO CHOOSE

young Moroccan man leaves his male lover for a woman

BODY AND MIND

classic 1970s erotica - some with interesting stories

CHANSONS D'AMOUR

The Songs of Bilitis
in the original French



MEN IN OILS

pictures by Bloomsbury painter Duncan Grant

LET'S DANCE

portraits of the famous company

FROST

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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