Erotic art deco, lesbian poetry and illustrations - Les Chansons de Bilitis - Song of Bilitis by Pierre Louys c. 1928. Privately printed by the Pierre Louys Society on unicorn laid paper, of which there are 1250 copies in existence. Art deco erotic illustrations by Franz Felix. Featuring 143 prose poems, excluding 3 epitaphs. First published in Paris in 1894, Les Chansons de Bilitis is a collection of erotic, essentially lesbian, poetry by Pierre Louÿs. Antiquarian Books
Cloth book of 185pp with 24 tissue guarded color plates by Franz Felix. Pasted-on title labels on front cover and spine. Cover title label is intact; spine label is torn and chipped along left edge. Covers and spine are aged, soiled, stained and edge-worn. Front spine hinge is split. Spine edges and ends are torn and chipped
The poems are in the manner of Sappho; the collection's introduction claims they were found on the walls of a tomb in Cyprus, written by a woman of Ancient Greece called Bilitis, a courtesan and contemporary of Sappho to whose life Louÿs dedicated a small section of the book. The poems are a blend of mellow sensuality and polished style. On publication, the volume deceived even the most expert of scholars. Though the poems were actually clever fabrications, authored by Louÿs himself.
CONDITION: Book itself is tight. No stains on the cloth cover. The pasted on frontispiece is in tact. The pasted on label on the spin has broken off but on the inside cover and can be put back together. The art of Franz Felix is intact with original unfaded colors etc.
SIZE: 9 1/4 inches x 12 inches
Author Artist Information:
Franz Felix. Born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1870, Pierre Louis (later Louys) (1870-1925) studied in Paris and spent most of his life in France. A Symbolist writer, his poems and other writings are permeated with erotic and lesbian themes. Although he was heterosexual, he was a friend of Wilde and Gide, and championed gay & lesbian rights.
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