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Tuberose and Meadowsweet.

London, David Bogue, 1885 Stock Code: 135467
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First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title "A M. J.J. Weiss hommage affectueux de l'auteur". The recipient was likely Jean-Jacques Weiss (1827-1891), French man of letters, professor, and literary critic. The author's second book of Uranian poetry, very scarce inscribed, and especially desirable in such nice condition. Oscar Wilde reviewed the book anonymously in the Pall Mall Gazette: "To say of these poems that they are unhealthy and bring with them the heavy odours of the hothouse is to point out neither their defect nor their merit, but their quality merely". The poem Piers Gaveston sees what might be "the first use of the word 'shame' to imply homosexual love" (D'Arch Smith, Love in Earnest, p. 249). "Although his work may seem typical of the Uranian - a term adopted by homoerotic writers of late-nineteenth-century England to denote homosexual but more specifically, pederastic, love - writers of the 1880s and 1890s, Raffalovich demonstrates a surprising and subversive inventiveness. The most sensuous of his books, Tuberose and Meadowsweet (1885), includes the image of the decadent orchid of late Victorian writing and references to a love seen by others as shame, but it also cleverly revises the language of flowers, a traditional nineteenth-century discourse of heterosexual courtship" (Malti-Douglas, Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender, 2007).

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Octavo. Original green cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, spine and covers ruled in black, top edge gilt, others uncut.


Parisian bookseller's ticket (Librairie Gagliani) to the front pastedown. Very minor bumping and scuffing at extremities, endpapers lightly foxed, half-title and final page toned. A near-fine copy.


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