Imre: A Memorandum A Gay and Lesbian Literary Landmark
Published privately in 1906, Imre: A Memorandum is considered influential because it is essentially a homosexual love story where the relationship is portrayed in a positive light with an upbeat ending. Prime-Stevenson (1868-1942) was an American author who turned away from a legal career to become a mainstream writer for magazines such as Harper’s and The New York Independent. However, he also wrote under the pen-name of Xavier Mayne and as Mayne he published his most important work where he showed a deep understanding of homosexual culture.
Imre: A Memorandum tale describes the love story between a 30-something British aristocrat and a 25-year-old Hungarian military officer who meet in a Budapest cafe.
The book was first printed with a limited run of 500 copies. The copy that sold in April was inscribed “From X.M --/ Florence -- March / 1922.” Imre: A Memorandum has been reprinted a couple of times – by Arno Press in 1975 and Broadview Press in 2003. First editions are very hard to find – it’s believed a significant number of copies were destroyed in Italy’s Messina earthquake of 1908. Stevenson had moved to Europe in 1901 where he wrote the book.
Stevenson also wrote The Intersexes: A Study of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life - a history and defence of western homosexuality in the face of overwhelming prejudice from the mass media and social establishment. This book was also privately printed and the 125 first editions are very hard to find.
Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks in April 2009
1. Imre: A Memorandum by Xavier Mayne - $12,000
One of the first openly gay love stories in America, first edition published 1906. Written by Edward Irenaeus Prime-Stevenson under a pseudonym the book is one of the most important in LGBT literature because it is considered the first novel where homosexuals are portrayed in a positive light. This copy was one of 500 limited first editions, inscribed by Stevenson’s alter-ego "From X.M --/ Florence -- March / 1922."
2. Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics edited by Keith Brown - $8,020
The complete 14 volume set of this standard linguistics Encyclopedia. New copy
3. Work from the Same House: Photographs & Etchings by Lee Friedlander and Jim Dine - $7,817
Limited edition of 75 copies, published in soft cover by Petersburg Press in 1969. Friedlander and Dine’s work helped shape New York’s avant-garde photography scene in the 1960s, the pair collaborated for seven years on this book.
4. Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands by Isabell Sinclair - $5,500
First edition published in 1885, and inscribed by the Sinclair. The Book includes 44 beautiful colour plates dedicated to the flora of the Hawaiian Islands. In the book Sinclair wars of coming threats to the native flora from non native species brought on by fires, animals, and human intervention.
5. The Dispatches of Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington, during his famous campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France, from 1799 to 1818. - $5,537
Published in 1838, this second edition fourteen volume set was combined with The General Orders of Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington.
6. Winston S. Churchill, 1874-1965 by Randolph S. Churchill and Martin Gilbert - $5,124
A first edition set of 24 volumes, the most complete set of Churchill`s biography consisting of the 8 volumes of the Life, the 13 companion volumes and 3 volumes of The Churchill War Papers, the last one Inscribed and Signed by Martin Gilbert. Published 2000.
7. Sartoris by William Faulkner - $5,000
First edition published in 1929, limited to fewer than 2000 copies. Sartoris was the first of his 15 novel Yoknapatawpha series about the fictional Mississippi county that Faulkner would often refer to as his "my apocryphal county."
8. The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter - $4,400
This later printing of The Tailor of Gloucester was signed by Potter on the half-title page. The Tailor of Gloucester was first published in 1903.
9. Physico-Mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects by Francis Hauksbee - $4,000
Hauksbee was a student of Robert Boyle and worked as a demonstrator at the Royal Society. Hauksbee made discoveries that helped lead to Neon lighting as well as working on a two-cylinder vacuum pump which remained in use for two-hundred years. Physico-Mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects is a published summary of much of his work. First published 1709, this is a second edition.
10. An Early Arabic Manuscript of Sharh Alfadh Al Tanbih by Abu Zakariyya Muhiyiddin Yahya Bin Mirri Al Hizami Al Haurani Al Nawawi - $4,000
An unbound manuscript duplicated from the authors copy a few years after his death. Originally penned in 1272 AD by a well-known Islamic Law scholar from the Shafi’ite School. This copy was lacking the first three to five leafs.