Book Description

The First edition, second issue published by Jonathan Cape, London in 1928. The BOOK is in near Fine condition. The First edition, second issue was published within months of the first issue with one minor typographical correction to page 50, changing the word 'Whip' to 'Whips'. Some pushing to the spine ends. The binding remains very tight. The black top-stain is unfaded. Light offsetting to the blank end-papers. Free from inscriptions and erasures. Light toning to the text-block with a hint of toning to the page edges due to the quality of paper stock used. The very scarce WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++ condition. Mild edge-wear with a little loss at the spine ends. A little loss at the corners and along the front flap fold in places. A 7cm closed tear to the upper front flap fold and a 5cm closed tear to the upper rear fold. Only a hint of toning to the spine and minor age related markings. The wrapper looks very striking in the removable brodart archival cover. Radclyffe Hall was well known in London literary circles and had already been published to some acclaim by Jonathan Cape. However, in August 1928 the Home Secretary (a Christian fundamentalist) was persuaded that the author's new book 'The Well of loneliness'was profane. He banned the book from sale. The publishers Jonathan Cape made secret arrangements with a French publisher, 'Pegasus Press', for the book to be sold in France. But on 3 October 1928 a warrant was issued for Customs and Excise to seize and destroy the books crossing the channel. A high profile obscenity trial (partly resulting from a campaign led by James Douglas, editor of the 'Sunday Express', who wrote 'I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a phial of prussic acid than this novel') followed on 9 November 1928 and found that that all books were to be destroyed. A subsequent appeal (which did not involve analysis of the text as the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to release copies) upheld the decision following a deliberation of only five minutes. The book did not appear again in England until the Falcon Press edition of 1949. Havelock Ellis, the sex psychologist, who wrote the appreciation wrote ' (the book) possesses 'a notable psychological and sociological significance,' and should be placed 'on a high level of distinction.' (from flap blurb). A very attractive copy of what was to be Radclyffe Hall's masterpiece. Very elusive with the wrapper in such collectible condition.
Author Hall, Radclyffe
Date 1928
Binding Hardcover
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London
Condition Near Fine / Very Good++

Price: £1850.00

Offered by Ashton Rare Books

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