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.
BRÉVANNES, Roland. – La Nudité de Lucy. Sceaux: Select Bibliothèque, 1920. In-16, 208 pp., 8 illustrations signed ‘Tack.’ Part of the series ‘Les Nuits rouges. This copy, rebound in cheap boards, original covers not preserved, otherwise surprisingly complete, the last page is pasted to the back board, text is complete, and all 8 illustrations by Tack are present and in very good condition. This is number 48 in the series, these titles are highly collectible, and are elusive because the cheap production quality reduces the likelihood of survival.
Original Cover (missing from the item listed ) image supplied courtesy of, Christophe Bier.
Bibliographical information reproduced with his permission from Patrick Kearney’s Scissors and Paste website