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Sale 2514 Lot 49
RADCLYFFE HALL (1880-1943)
The Well of Loneliness.
8vo, gilt-lettered black cloth; top edges trimmed and stained black; original dust jacket, price-clipped. Laid in is a folded prospectus from Pegasus Press, Paris, who reissued the work after this edition was deemed obscene and withdrawn from circulation. London: Jonathan Cape, 1928.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,500
first edition, first issue of hall's celebrated novel of lesbianism. The work was banned in Britain after a vicious campaign by the Sunday Express editor, James Douglas, who deemed it obscene. It was withdrawn from circulation, only to be revived again when Cape secreted the printing moulds to the Pegasus Press in Paris, where it was reissued in wrappers with a frontispiece provided by Cape's English printer, but giving the Paris imprint. Seized upon import into England, Hall and her novel of "sexual inversion" became a cause celebre and the ensuing publicity and notoriety promoted its sale for the next forty years.