Lot 35

[DOUGLAS, Lord Alfred “Bosie” (1870-1945)].  Tails with a Twist. The Verses by “Belgian Hare.” London: Edward Arnold, [1898]. Oblong 4to. 20 partly-coloured plates by Edward Tennyson Reed (some spotting and staining, mainly to the margins). Original cloth-backed coloured pictorial paper boards, green floral endpapers (inner hinges weak, extremities heavily rubbed, some staining and scuffing). Provenance: Eric Walter Dale (old signature on title). FIRST EDITION of this collection of comic verse reminiscent of Hilaire Belloc (the author was accused of plagiarising him). “Bosie” first met Oscar Wilde in 1891, whereupon they began an affair. Oscar Wilde was brought to trial for “gross indecency” in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. These events were bound to be in Bosie’s mind when he was penning these comic verses shortly after the trial: note especially ‘The Rabbit’, on pp. 6-7, which is illustrated with a picture of a rabbit in a dock, with two policemen standing on either side, and captioned “His life is a complete disgrace!”. RARE. "The Belgian Hare and Bosie came into my life in a bookshop in Wymondham on one of my frequent journeys from the family home at Hoveton in east Norfolk, to London. Great value, if hardly a riposte to Dorian Gray" (H.B.).

Estimate: £100-£150

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