Gentlemen, I Address You Privately

New York: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1933

8vo, pp. 341. Original black boards, lettered in gold on front panel and spine. Leading edge uncut. Faint uniform staining to front and rear endpapers and endboards, light foxing to leading edge of text block not affecting pages themselves. A very good copy in the pictorial dustwrapper, browned at spine and with some very slight edgewear.

First edition of Boyle's third novel, the cast of which consists of two male homosexuals (an exiled priest and an Irish sailor), three lesbians, and a brothel keeper. A less-than-successful study of a sexuality the author had encountered, but not understood, during the time she spent in Paris between the wars. Boyle arrived among the literary expatriate community of Paris in 1923, aged twenty-one. She soon separated from her husband and had a child with Ernest Walsh, co-founder of the influential This Quarter magazine, who died of consumption shortly after his child's birth. Between 1929 and 1932 Boyle lived with the writer Laurence Vail, who at the time was married to Peggy Guggenheim. When both their divorces came through the couple married and had three more children together. Boyle was also closely associated, personally as well as professionally, with the homosexual writers Emanuel Carnevali and Robert McAlmon, publishing re-edited versions of their work after their deaths.

Keywords: Kay Boyle

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