Massy (Seine-et-Oise.): Select Bibliothèque, 1906. First Edition (presumed). Hardcover. The three illustrations are not signed, but resemble those by ‘Tack’ to be found in later works in this series. Early uncommong flagellation novel, quite sought after in any state. Overally, a very presentable example.
"The Select-Bibliothèque was one of several publishing houses specializing in fetish material that flourished in Paris during the first half of the twentieth century. Like the others, notably Jean Fort’s ‘Orties Blanches’ series and the ‘Librairie Artistique et Editions Parisiennes Reunies’ of Paul Brenet, the books of the Select Bibliothèque were published openly. Occasionally a title would cross some mysterious line and be prosecuted, but in general, since there was no sex in the conventional sense, these publishers were left to their devices by the authorities.
Despite the openness of these books, the publisher of the Select Bibliothèque remains unknown, at least to this cataloguer. Paul Jérôme writes of Don Brennus Aléra as being “un (ou plusieurs) des pourvoyeurs de l’editeur parisien Massy…” (Dictionnaire des œuvres érotiques, Paris: Mercure de France, 1971, p. 484). In fact, Massy was where the earliest books in the series were published. The almost anagramitic similarity of the names of the authors of most of the books – Bernard Valonnes, Don Brennus Aléra, Roland Brevannes – suggests a single hand at work, and one that spanned in excess of 30 years. And it might not be unreasonable to think that the author was also the publisher.
The numbered titles in the series were in a small 8vo – closer to 16mo – format, and began publication in 1907. However, there were also a handful of earlier titles, in a larger octavo format and on better paper, which were not numbered. I’ve only seen one of these [in a private collection in Hamburg]. These were also published circa 1907. It is probable that the unnumbered titles, being on better paper, proved to be uneconomical prompting the publisher to change to a smaller format and cheaper paper soon thereafter. Note also that only of a few of the Select Bibliothèque titles went into second printings, and so the Catalogues or ‘Tarifs’ which appeared in the front of each volume are usually incomplete, some titles being missing. I’ve only ever seen one title that the Select Bibliothèque itself reprinted, and that too was in Hamburg." Very Good. Light shelf/edge wear, even toning to pulp textblock, rebound, else tight and unmarred. Blue cloth boards, paper spine label. 12mo. 240pp. Illus. (b/w plates). Item #10107