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Book Description
THIRD EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED. Two volumes (of seven, though volumes were also sold individually). 8vos, pp. [xvi], 352, including plates + fold-out chart, [6 adverts for sexual science titles]; pp. [xii], [392]. Brown buckram, spines lettered and ruled in gilt, blind embossed device to upper boards. Spines sunned, gilt dulled, wear and bruising to extremities, nicking to heel of vol. I. A few scores to upper board of vol. I, bumps to bottom edges. Edges tanned and faintly spotted, some fox spots throughout. POIs to ffeps: “Joan Brooke/ 1931” in pencil, plus her married calling card: “Joan Gibbs-Smith” pasted in. Scoring and engaging critical marginalia in pen and pencil to vol. 1: Gibbs-Smith frequently speaks back to Ellis (particularly harshly when he refers to an erection as a penis blushing: “What Rubbish!,” she scoffs) and links passages to her own sexual life, her social circle and wider experience. Occasional pen scoring and only a single brief marginal comment to vol. II, alas. A robust pair, containing fascinating insight into an interwar female reading of sexual science.
Dealer Notes
Joan Gibbs-Smith (née Brooke, 1905-1967) studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. While later flower paintings have appeared at auction over the years, none of her work is represented in regional or national collections. Gibbs-Smith’s acerbic annotations (”This generalization is ridiculous”) shed a shaft of light on broader public engagement with sexual science in the early decades of the twentieth century, when such reading matter was still restricted to physicians and lawyers (as well as by price, here $4 or 15/– per volume), and most especially, not intended for a female lay readership (see Laura Doan (2001), for instance). Ellis’ publishing history had been chequered by the suppression of Sexual Inversion (1897), co-authored with John Addington Symonds, in 1898 for obscenity, hence the American edition, which highlights: “This is the only edition in English published by the author’s permission” (advert to verso of half title).

Laura Doan, Fashioning Sapphism: The origins of modern lesbian subculture (NY: Columbia University Press, 2001).
Author ELLIS, Havelock; [GIBBS-SMITH, Joan]
Date 1930
Publisher Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company, Publishers
Condition Good+

Price: £75.00

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