Florence: Privately printed for subscribers by G. Orioli, 1931. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover. 8vo. Publisher's decorative cloth. 166 pp.
Signed twice by Douglas. Signed and numbered on limitation page and inscribed on half-title. Spine covering is removed and laid in. Binding is tight.
This is a twice-signed limited edition (no. 214 of 250 copies) first edition of Norman Douglas' (1868-1952) essay on aphrodisiacs. Privately printed for Giuseppe "Pino" Orioli's (1884-1942) Lungarno Series, of which this is No. 5. Orioli was known for printing small batches of uncensored books by Douglas, D.H. Lawrence (including the unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover), and others out of his studio in Florence to skirt London obscenity laws. During his lifetime, Douglas was regarded, at best, as a literary scoundrel, and at worst, as a serial pederast. Douglas remains a controversial figure, and many scholars agree that he was the direct inspiration for Humbert Humbert in Nabokov's Lolita. (Wilson; Burning Man) Says John Sutherland, "There was a time when, in smart literary conversations, Norman Douglas was regarded as one of the smartest things going. Part of that smartness was his keeping, for the whole of his long depraved life, one jump ahead of the law." Despite being charged with multiple assaults, Douglas died of an intentional overdose a free man in Capri; his last words were "Get those fucking nuns away from me." (Moor; An Impossible Woman). Good. Item #2745