[pseud. DESCLOS, Anne Cécile] RÉAGE, Pauline

Histoire d'O

Sceaux: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1954

8vo, pp. 245. Original printed yellow wrappers. Later protective slipcase. One or two small spots of colour to wrappers, slight shaving to top edge of rear wrapper affecting the last few pages, otherwise a near fine, unopened copy. SMALL BOOK LABEL OF OLYMPIA PRESS BIBLIOGRAPHER PATRICK KEARNEY TO INSIDE FRONT WRAPPER.

First edition, one of 600 numbered copies of which 480 were for sale. This copy out of sequence. GERSHON LEGMAN'S COPY, WITH HIS PENCILLED (ERRONEOUS) ANNOTATION.

Anne Declos' notorious sado-masochistic love letter to Jean Paulhan -- who provides the preface to the book -- written in an attempt to reignite their love affair, and to rebut his assertion that women were incapable of writing erotica. For forty years after publication the identity of the book's author remained a secret; only in 1994, in his book The Good Ship Venus, did John de St. Jorre finally unmask (ungimp?) Desclos. St. Jorre's book was a biography of the Paris-based publishing house The Olympia Press; it was Olympia which published an unauthorised English translation of Histoire d'O almost simultaneously with this, the first edition.

This copy bears a handwritten (unsigned) note by Gershon Legman, ascribing the authorship of the book to André Pieyre de Mandiargues. Though no stranger to erotica, de Mandiargues had no hand in this.

An unknown but very small number of copies of the first edition carry a small red etching by Hans Bellmer on the title page. The etching is not present on this copy.

Keywords: Pauline REAGE Anne Cecile DESCLOS"


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