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.

February 2015

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

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.

Among our non-LGT titles... in our antiquarian section we have recently added a four-volume set of Spenser's The Faerie Queene.


My Unique Change
Hedy Jo Star

the true story of all-American boy becoming all woman

First edition: 1965


Taking It Like A Man
Adrian Caesar

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

First edition: 1993

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

February sales have been mostly fiction, including a 1958 edition of Frederick Rolfe's Nicholas Crabbe or The One and The Many, with an introduction by Cecil Woolf; a 1955 edition of Roger Peyrefitte's L'Exilé de Capri about the notorious Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen; first editions of Kenneth Martin's Waiting for the Sky to Fall, Neville Jackson's No End To The Way and Damon Galgut's Small Circle of Beings; and several other titles. We have also said goodbye to Sixteen and a Half from the increasingly rare Diary of the Teens series from the Fortune Press, after selling Fourteen in January. (We still have Fifteen and Sixteen for sale here and are always interested in buying these and other Fortune Press titles, as well as rare editions of Peyrefitte's works.) 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 were closed for 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, a first UK edition of Joseph Hansen's first Dave Brandstetter novel, Fadeout. From our small Sci-Fi and Fantasy section we sent to the USA The World in 2030 A.D., published in 1930; in common with all such books, it reveals much more about the age in which it is written than about the future it describes. ; 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.

In December 2014 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.


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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