Anyone interested in buying, can see items currently for sale on my eBay listing, linked below, I will be adding many more titles as I clear out my collection. Anyone interested in buying direct please complete a contact form.
Anyone interested in buying, can see items currently for sale on my eBay listing, linked below, I will be adding many more titles as I clear out my collection. Anyone interested in buying direct please complete a contact form.
After another long absence, I return with some very rare ephemera from the Paris Olympia Press. Listed here only briefly, I will post more detailed descriptions if there is any interest.
I shall in the coming days post some more illustrated erotica, in particular some material from the now defunct Erotic Print Society.
I am still considering letting my Olympia Press collection go to a new home, but in the mean time I continue to seek the few missing items.
The New Paris Teaser
The New Stripteaser
Olympia Press Catalogue 1960
The above items are all rare, but none so rare as the New Stripteaser, no copy has ever been in any of the major collections, and at the time the last bibliography as released, it was only identified as having been mentioned in a catalogue.
The Burroughs 1960 catalogue, is now a rarity because of the Burroughs connection.
I am still seeking 2 Teasers, “The Paris Teaser” and “Paris Exotique”, the English and French versions of the same publication.
As I have often mentioned before, the ephemera is the biggest challenge in trying to complete a collection. I am always delighted to find a catalogue. This one used to be quite common. I am always happy to be offered any similar items.
Below is a variant of the 1956 catalogue, with a link to my original listing. Same item but a different colour banner, orange instead of purple.
Having suffered a stroke last year, I was forced to consider what would happen to my collection should I die. A serious enough issue, given tales of shark like dealers descending on the recently bereaved and picking off the prized items from remaining partners who have no idea of what to do with the books, and even less idea of the potential value.
This is especially true of erotica as there is an understandable embarrassment, attached to such material, especially illustrated books, and I have heard of some such material being destroyed to avoid having to deal with it, and though this is perhaps the best disposal for modern pornography, this is less of a problem with my Paris Olympia Press collection as they are 99% without illustrations.
Having explored possible methods of disposal, I had been in negotiation with Bonhams of London with a view to the collection going to auction this June, when a combination of my own health issues and an extended family crisis prevented me from cataloguing the books, a task that Bonhams offered to cover, but I really wanted to complete myself.
So i find myself delaying the selling of the collection, and almost immediately other items turn up, within the past month or so, I have obtained a catalogue that I do not have a copy of, one of the missing Teaser magazines and a much improved copy of “The Castle of the end of Love”, a very hard to find Ophelia Press title.
I must admit to a sense of relief at still having the collection, as after so many decades of collecting the loss would be hard to take. It my be that I will reconsider next year, which gives me more time to locate the few missing items that would allow me to complete. Which also means that I will continue with this site, given that its sworn purpose is to assist with completing my Paris Olympia collection, something that is easy to forget, given that the vast majority of the books that I list are nothing to do with the Olympia Press at all.
So to give me a reason to carry on, please remember to look out for Paris Olympia material for me. And if you have any erotica (not photographic pornography please) that you want rid of then complete a contact form and I may be able to assist.
Below is an image of my Paris Olympia Press collection as of today. Coming soon recent finds and some very rare illustrated erotica.
A truly pristine item of ephemera, and a most welcome addition to my collection. This is a perfect example of the material that I am seeking, this one is courtesy of Arcana Cabana in the Netherlands, who kindly agreed to seperate the price list from an edition of Justine, where it had sat between the leaves, untouched for over 50 years. You can view the Arcana Cabana site below.
Paris Olympia Press, Price list and Order form, Spring 1962.
Printed both sides in black and red on a single sheet of pale yellow card, measuring 27×9 cm. Paris bookshop sticker affixed to base of the form on the verso.
The titles in red are highlighted as new editions due to be published, interestingly, the low number Traveller’s Companion Series titles had been in print since 1955/56, therefore at TC 13 ” The Secret Life of Robinson Crusoe” was formerly entitled “The Sexual Life of Robinson Crusoe”, at TC 29, “Helen and Desire” was actually reissued as “Desire and Helen”, and at TC 40 ” The Organisation” was reissued as “The New Organisation”. Legend has it that the changes in title of these reprints was a ploy to confuse the Brigade Mondaine, who worked to lists of Olympia titles that had been banned in France, but as few, if any of the officials could read English a simple ploy such as above was enough to throw them off the scent.
You can also see that at TC 57, the sixth volume of Juliette was about to be issued, the slot for TC 58 was held vacant,eventually (in 1965) was occupied by “Juliette” volume seven, but at one stage in (catalogue 1958) it had been scheduled fo a TC edition of Becketts” Watt”. The title at TC 90 planned as ” The Sex Life of Ulysses” eventually came out as “A Bedside Odyssey”.
Another anomaly, under the Othello Books series (numbered 111-116), which were all to be published in 1962, at 116, sits “Sextet” by Hume Parkinson, which was not issued in this series, and appears to been passed over in the Danish imprint “Odyssey Library”, where it was supposed to be published in 1963, eventually turning up as TC 94 the last title to be published in the Travellers Companion Series in 1965.
No mention on this list of any of the Ophelia Press titles, which generally appear to have been run as a seperate enterprise the Ophelia titles are generally themed around flagellation and sado masochism which traditionally sat outside of mainstream erotica.
Such a significant amount of information from such a small piece of paper, and perhaps something of an explanation for my fascination, with the Olympia Press ephemera material.
Paris Olympia Press, Price list and Order form, Spring 1962.
Please also See
After a long break from the blog, I am back in action more because of circumstances than by plan, but determined to make the most of my enforced idleness, I am updating material related to the collection and still seeking the few items that I do not have. Alongside this I am gathering the rare and obscure and hopefully bizzare items from around the web, to keep the semi-literate amongst you amused.
So just to remind you that the dedicated purpose of this blog is to provide access to information and images from erotica of all types, for free and to people who might not otherwise ever have sight of these books. But the primary purpose is to complete this Paris Olympia Press collection, and now that I need so few book titles, i am very keen to find the ephemera, for example catalogues, flyers, communication on headed paper, busines cards or anything associated with The Paris Olympia Press. l regularly update on new material coming into the collection, and list items that I am looking for under Books Wanted.
Here is an image of the collection in its latest state, please keep looking, If you have an item that you think might be of interest please use the contact form to get in touch.
Another great rarity and a very welcome addition to my collection, this was very kindly gifted to me earlier this year and arrived unexpectedly on my Birthday, the donor was John Mc Leish of Glasgow, who informed me that this item was formerly in the collection of Gershon Legman. I have had copy of this title before and the one referenced in the Bibliography as in the collection of Angus Carrol actually originated with me. Pat Kearneys speculation that the two items were stapled together at a later date is an error , as evidenced by this copy which has the same side stapled condition. I am tempted to separate the two pamphlets as the catalogue is of significant interest as it lists Beckett’s “Watt” at number 58 in the Traveller’s Companion Series, which never happened, I attempted to communicate this to a fellow collector who is convinced he has seen a copy of this TC Watt.but i have as yet had no response.
For now you will just have to settle for the limited images posted here as I do not want yet to seperate the two, and risk damaging either. Although it would be interesting to copy the catalogue in full, this will have to wait until I pluck up courage to carry out the operation, currently with only one reliable hand such a delicate task is at the moment beyond me.
On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship with A List of Olympia Press Titles and Others. Paris Olympia Press 1958
The bibliographical information below is provided courtesy of Patrick Kearney, The Paris Olympia Press, Liverpool University Press 2007.
MY NOTE: The catalogue is dated MXMLV11 (1957) on the cover, it references Imp Mazarine as the printer but has no print details.
14.7.1 1958. On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship. – 17.4 x 8.8 cm. Printed on white wove paper. A dated pamphlet of 32 pages, incl. plain typographical wrappers. A curious publication comprising for the most part extracts from the minutes of the Select Committee on the Obscene Publications Bill, which had been published by the British Government in1957. Printed by Impr. Mazarine, Paris.
Notes: It is doubtful that Girodias would issue a pamphlet of this sort unaccompanied by a sale catalogue or price list for his publications. A copy in Angus Carrollřs collection is stapled together with the item following (14.8.1). Whether the two were issued together as a single unit is uncertain. Despite being the same size and having the same date and printer, each is printed on a different coloured paper and they are connected awkwardly with two staples driven through the side. The possibility exists, however, that they were issued together but became separated, and were badly reunited by a later collector.
14.8.1 1958. A List of Olympia Press Titles and Others. 17.4 x 8.8 cm. Printed on pale blue wove paper. 24 pp. including plain typographical wrappers. Extracts from, or write-ups of, a number of Travellerřs Companion and Ophelia Press titles. There is a 2-page price list and order form, advertisements for German editions of Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn and Querelle de Brest. There are also advertisements for L‘Erotisme au cinema and Technique de l‘erotisme by the prolific Giuseppe Maria Lo Duca. These illustrated works were actually published by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, but apparently distributed in some way by the Olympia Press. Printed by Impr. Mazarine, Paris.
Notes: Possibly issued to accompany a 32-page pamphlet called On the Old Theme of Literature & Censorship, reprinting extracts from the minutes of the Select Committee on the Obscene Publications Bill, which had been published by the British Government in 1957. See item 14.7.1, above.
This small volume has been listed on book sites for some considerable time, and was of no particular interest to me until I relised that from the description and photograph of the cover that this was likely to be the edition with colour illustrations, this from the knowledge that, the numbered edition has blue wraps and the unnumbered edition has pink wraps, this copy has a cream wrapper and was therefore likely to be the Alphabetical limitation, and so it turned out to be, but with a very sweet reward attached. Iinclude the booksellers listing, to assist with the story, and offer my profound thanks to Keogh Books, for this unique addition to my collection.
Rare opportunity to se the delicately coloured illustrations , and so please see below. Apart from the additional material hand written by the author, for the collector, the format is slightly larger than the other editions and the illustrations are hand coloured, This copy is a unique alphabetical limitation 26 on Vélin d’Arches, | numbered A to Z; = 26¾ – Z³ ,see image for detail. The bibliographical information displayed below the images is courtesy of Patrick Kearney The Paris Olympia Press, Liverpool University Press 2007.
2.6.1 AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS James Broughton, 1955
[Within a drawing of a pedestal, with three steps leading to summit, and surmounted by two pillars supporting a narrow, flat roof. In front of left pillar, the figure of a naked man, with a naked woman in front of right pillar. In one hand the woman carries a sign bearing the author‘s name; both figures support a banner with the title on it. The name of the Paris publisher, and place and date of publication are printed on the steps.] [In fancy lettering: ] JAMES BROUGHTON
| AN | ALMANAC | FOR | AMORISTS | [design of bird in flight ] | COLLECTION | MERLIN | PARIS 1955 |
Collation: 42 pp. 18.2 x 13.8 cm. Perfect bound, without signatures, edges untrimmed.
Contents: p. [i-iv] blank. p. [v] AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS, reverse blank. p.  title, as above. p.  Copyright 1955 | by James Broughton. | All rights reserved |in all countries. | Published by | Collection Merlin | 42, rue de Seine | Paris (6e) | in collaboration with | The Olympia Press. | Designed and decorated | by Kermit Sheets. p. , poetic dedications to Esto Broughton, Madeline Gleason and Robert Duncan. p.  A grateful acknowledgment | is made to Marguerite Caertani | in whose review, Botteghe Oscure, | many of these poems first | appeared under this same title. | Some of the other poems | were originally published | in Furioso, Folder, and Wake.. p.  contents, reverse blank. p.  full-page drawing illustrating Spring, reverse blank. pp. 9-37, text with full-page drawings illustrating the remaining seasons on pp. [15, 23, 31]. p.  list of Broughton’s other volumes of verse, and his films. p.  This edition of | An Almanac for Amorists | consists of 676 copies : | 26 on Vélin d’Arches, | numbered A to Z; | 150 on Pur chiffon, | numbered 1 to 150;| 500 on Offset supérieur, | unnumbered. |[all in bold:] IMPRIMERIE DES POÈTES | 20, Rue de la Harpe, Paris-5e | 1955. pp. [40-42] blank.
Binding: White wrappers, printed in black, overlapping on fore-edge and trimmed flush top and bottom. On front cover, a drawing of a naked man and woman, viewed from behind, holding a banner on which is written in fancy lettering AN | ALMANAC | FOR | AMORISTS. At foot of drawing is a narrow banderole bearing the author’s name. Printed down spine: James Broughton [-] AN ALMANAC FOR AMORISTS [-] Merlin. The back cover is blank.
Notes: (1) There are three Olympia Press issues of this printing: (a) The first issue, 26 copies on Velin d‟Arches lettered A to Z; (b) the second issue, 150 copies on Pur chiffon numbered 1 to 150; and (c) the third issue, 500 trade copies, unnumbered, as indicated at the end of the book. (2) There are known copies of the third issue (on Offset supérieur) which have added on the title page at the bottom either HALCYON PRESS LONDON or GROVE PRESS NEW YORK. It is unknown if these copies are part of the original 500 printed by the Olympia Press or if more were printed to accommodate these additional sub-issues. Both the Halcyon Press andeditions have a pink dustjacket,identical in design to the wrappers except that the name „Merlin‟ on the spine is replaced with the name „Halcyon‟ or „Grove‟ The inside flap of the front wrapper gives some critical comment on Broughton‟s work, the address of the English publisher or distributor (Halcyon Press, 15 New Row, London, W.C.2) or the American publisher or distributor (Grove Press, 795 Broadway, New York City 3), and the price of the volume, 4s 6d or $1, repsectively. The inside flap of the back wrapper, and the back wrapper itself, are both blank. (3) The printing of this work would seem to have been done by Bronislaw Kaminski, aka Bruno Durocher, who was also responsible for some reprints for the Olympia Press, and for The Castle of the End of Love, the unofficial first Ophelia Press title.His Éditions Caractères had a number of subsidiary imprints, including L‟Imprimerie des Poètes.
For me this is exactly what I have been looking for, in a very good year for extremely rare items to complete my collection, here is one item that is amazing to find, and is the real justification for this Blog.
Prospectus for ‘Watt’ a novel in English by Samuel Beckett. Collection Merlin 1953. 12mo. Single sheet prospectus. Fine condition.
A major find for my collection, a very nice copy of the 58 Ginger Man with the original dust jacket flaps. As always the bibliographical description is courtesy of Patrick Kearney, The Paris Olympia Press, The Liverpool University Press 2007. The index number corresponds to the actual location of the description in the bibliography.
5.7.2 THE GINGER MAN J. P. Donleavy, 1958
[Within a green border of type ornament: ] J. P. DONLEAVY | THE | GINGER | MAN | (Paris edition) | THE TRAVELLERřS COMPANION | SERIES | published by | THE OLYMPIA PRESS | [breaking the border: ] 7, rue Saint-Séverin, Paris 5
Collation: 384 pp. No signatures. 17.0 x 10.5 cm., all edges trimmed. Printed on white wove paper.
Contents: pp. [i,ii] blank. p.  THE | GINGER | MAN. p.  blank p.  title, as above. p.  PRINTED IN FRANCE | [rule] | All rights reserved by The Olympia Press, Paris | COPYRIGHT 1958. pp. 5-, text with, at the foot of p.  [rule] | Printed January 1958 by S.I.P., Montreuil, France| Dépôt légal : 1er trimestre 1958.
Binding: Bound in green cloth boards, with red endpapers and with black paper labels on spine and front cover, printed in gold and white. Label on front cover measures 5.2 x 8.2 cm. and has a gold border decorated in black with the same type ornament used on the titlepage: [in gold: ] J. P. DONLEAVY | [in white: ] THE | GINGER MAN | [in gold: ] THE OLYMPIA PRESS, PARIS.
Label on spine measures 5.0 x 2.4 cm. and is similarly decorated, but at top and bottom only: [in gold: ] DONLEAVY | [in white: ] THE | GINGER | MAN | [in gold: ] OLYMPIA. Upside-down on the front paste-down is an oblong paper label measuring 6 x 1.5 centimetres on which is printed, within a single-line frame, NOT TO BE SOLD IN | THE U.K. OR U.S.A.. Centred to the right beside this, in larger type and still within the frame, is: FRS. 1.200. Two copies of this first issue have been noted, both having this label upside-down.
Issued in glossy white dustwrappers streaked in yellow and with coloured blot designs in dark blue, red and gray running into each other. Front of dustwrapper: [in white, each letter contained within an individual dark blue blot: ] THE | [in black upper-case script, each letter contained within an individual red blot: ] GINGER | [in black lower-case script, each letter contained within an individual gray blot: ] man [in black lettering: ] BY J . P. DONLEAVY – THE OLYMPIA PRESS, PARIS. Spine of dustwrapper has a similar coloured blot design, but with one blot per colour: [In white, within a dark blue blot: ] THE | [in black upper-case script, contained within an indidividual red blot: ] GINGER | [in black lower-case script, contained within an individual gray blot:] man [in black lettering: ] BY J. P. DONLEAVY.
On the front inside flap of the dustwrapper, and within a red border of type ornament, begins THE STORY OF THE GINGER MAN, an extended account of the how the novel came to be published in the first place and the litigation that was then in progress. This account is carried over to and concluded on the back inside flap. At the conclusion of the text is a red rule, followed by: [left justified:] NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLAND: | [centered:] Samuel Beckett | [in red:] Molloy | [in black on the next line and to the right:] 13/6 | [in red and centred:] WATT | [in black on the next line and to the right:] 15/- | [in black and centered:] Paul Ableman | [in red and centred:] I HEAR VOICES | [in black on the next line and to the right:] 15/-.
Notes: Maurice Girodias believed that he owned the English language rights to The Ginger Man, including those governing contracts for English editions outside France. Donleavyřs view of the situation was quite different, and thus was born one of the longest and most bitterly fought feuds in the history of publishing. This present edition of The Ginger Man was printed specifically by the Olympia Press to be imported into England to undermine the edition published there by Neville Spearman who had entered into a separate contract with Donleavy. Fearing possible legal action in England, Spearman, presumably with Donleavy’s agreement and co-operation, expurgated their edition of the book. For similar reasons, Girodias pruned his edition as well, but to a lesser degree. Unfortunately, he neglected to take into consideration the reputation his imprint had with the British Customs and Excise authorities.
Referring to an omission in the 1975 edition of this bibliography of the Olympia Press, a letter from Donleavyřs then secretary, Mrs. P. V. Epps, to the present author dated January 3rd 1977 stated: There is one edition of Mr. Donleavy’s book The Ginger Man which is absent from your handlist. However, this is understandable due to the fact that it was published in a limited hard cover 500 copy edition in 1956 [sic], and Mr. Girodias claimed that much of this edition was destroyed by the English Customs. It happens, however, to be a volume which Mr. Donleavy does not presently have, and he is attempting to obtain a copy.
By 1982, Donleavy had evidently located a copy, for on the 7th of May in that year his new secretary, Teresa Miln, wrote to Bernard Stone, a London bookseller: Mr. Donleavy did in the same post as your letter get such a copy, however he is still looking for the same cloth edition 1958 but with the dust jacket containing reference to litigation then being carried on. You will note the dust jacket you presently have has been cut on the fold over containing the legend on the inside cover, and the legend concerning The Ginger Man pasted onto the cover. This [is] because the previous legend might have been in contempt of court concerning the matter sub judice. There may only be a handful of such copies containing this wrapper, but Mr. Donleavy would much appreciate your keeping an eye out for it, and of course any other editions coming into your hands.
It is clear from these letters that when the Olympia Press first published this edition of The Ginger Man, the inner flaps of the dustwrapper contained some account of the ongoing court case between Girodias and Donleavy. Fearing, perhaps on legal advice, that publication of this information might be construed as contempt of court and/or hamper his case, Girodias had the flaps removed and substituted with others carrying less sensitive letterpress. These new flaps are on different paper to the dustwrapper, having a sort of rough, matt finish. Why a whole new batch of wrappers weren’t printed instead it is hard to say, but it may have been because of the expense of additional colour printing.
In December 1997, a copy of the first issue of this edition, with the original flaps, was offered for sale by Quill & Brush Books (P.O. Box 5365, Rockville, MD 20848). A copy of the litigious text was, with great generosity, supplied to the compiler by Quill & Brush Books, and is here reproduced:
THE STORY OF THE GINGER MAN
The story of this remarkable and now famous book is an unusually complicated one. J. P. Donleavy submitted his manuscript to us four years ago, after it had been rejected by several British and American publishers because of its rather raw unconventionality, and because Donleavy definitely refused to leave out any of the rawness and unconventionality. We agreed to publish it provided that some amendments should be brought to the form and style of this novel ,an exuberant first book. This was done, and The Ginger Man appeared in Paris in 1955.
In December 1956, another edition of the book was published in London, unauthorized by us, and rather badly expurgated by the second publisher, as a protection against the implacable vigilance of British censorship. However, the job was so barbarously done that it resulted in the destruction of many of the genuine qualities of the book.
Litigation was initiated by us, and the London publisher adopted the following line of defence: a British Court could not admit the validity of the Donleavy- Olympia Press contract because its object was of an illegal nature, i.e. an obscene book; therefore, their own contract with the author, the second contract, was to be considered the only valid one, its object being a book (the same) dutifully maimed, shorn, and disencumbered from all Rabelaisian appendages.
The laws of Great Britain being what they are, our solicitors warned us in alarm that the line of defence adopted by our adversaries was far from futile; the grave accusation of obscenity, even unsupported, was to raise such echoes in a British Court that we were in danger of losing our case, however unjust such an outcome, however devious the methods of the Defendants.
Our first reaction was unmitigated fury; then we remembered that we had acquired a rather dark fame in England in the past few years as Continental publishers of the outlaw works of Jean Genet, of Henry Miller, of Samuel Beckett, of de Sade, and that we were known as the discoverers and champions of this magnificent masterpiece, Vladimir Nabokovřs Lolita. We reluctantly understood that our solicitors were right.
We were then struck by this major, illuminating discovery: why shouldn’t we withdraw the ladder from under the agile feet of our adversaries? The means were simple, and the prospect healthy: we would ourselves publish an edition of The Ginger Man for sale in England, under our contract also expurgated, but within the limits of reason, and with all due concern for the literary merit of the book.
And this volume is the result. If the London edition is free from the accusation of obscenity, then this edition also is; only we have kept in many sections and passages necessary for the balance, meaning and colour of the book, which the London publisher had suppressed for no discernible reason. And whatever expurgations we have been compelled to perform, we have tried to perform intelligently; we therefore presume that this edition of The Ginger Man deserves even more fully than the London one these comments of the British Press:
A triumph. Manchester Guardian. Sheer excess of horseplay, violence and vitamins. Observer. Has fire enough for a dozen books. Sunday Times. Remarkably authentic and Joycean. New Statesman. Comic dirty and delightful. The Listener, etc., etc.
Whether the British Customs did seize the shipment, as Donleavy states that Girodias claims, is problematical. Certainly, before about 1980 this edition of the novel was all but unknown, but about that year a considerable number of copies emerged almost simultaneously at London book fairs and similar functions. It is possible that the Customs sat on them until the dust settled, and then sold them secretly to a wholesaler who in turn filtered them out into the London book trade, but this seems unlikely. Nevertheless, somebody kept them under wraps for more than twenty years.
The second state dustjacket is identical to the first except the inside flaps are cancels. The front inside flap carries, within a double-line frame, the outer line being heavier than the inner, a short unsigned note concerning The Ginger Man, and refers to the many cuts made in the Neville Spearman edition of the novel published in London. The present edition is admitted to having been cut as well, but much less so, and has therefore gained considerably in vigour and quality, and fully deserves the universal acclaim of the British Press. Brief plaudits are then quoted from reviews in The Manchester Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday Times, &c. The back inside flap carries, within an identical border, advertisements for three other Olympia Press novels, Samuel Beckett’s Molloy and Watt, and Paul Ableman’s I Hear Voices, the first of which is priced at 13/6 and the other two at 15/- respectively, which are said to be DISTRBUTED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM BY A. ZWEMMER LTD., |72 Charing Cross Road, | London WC2.
With the exception of the cancel flaps and the NOT TO BE SOLD… sticker, copies with the second state dustjacket are identical to copies with the first state dustjacket.