Welcome to Neil Pearson Rare Books

Neil Pearson has collected rare books for thirty years: his specialism is nineteenth and twentieth century first edition literature, with a particular interest in the expatriate literary movement of Paris between the wars. He is the author of Obelisk (Liverpool University Press, 2007), a history of the notorious Paris imprint which in the 1930s published the early work of, among others, Henry Miller, Laurence Durrell and Ana├»s Nin. In 2011 he researched, compiled and wrote They Were What They Were: A Catalogue of Early Gay Fiction, 1862 -1960. More information about both of these titles can be found here.

After buying books for so many years, he is delighted finally to be selling some.





In recent months we have been a little understocked in poetry, and have now put that right. We are continuing to process and upload recent acquisitions, but the website already carries much to interest collectors of W.H. Auden, John Betjeman and Seamus Heaney. Clicking on the authors' names will take you to the relevant page. We have more material than is currently listed, so do get in touch with wants lists if you have them. 



This is dragging on a bit: what in the beginning felt like a delay is now starting to feel a wee bit like censorship -- which would be droll, given that that's what the film's about. We're hoping for some sort of clarification -- and a transmission date -- very soon. Not least because it's now almost a year since we shot it....

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Neil Pearson's film, A Very British Pornographer, about Obelisk Press publisher Jack Kahane and his fight to publish Henry Miller's Tropic Of Cancer in Paris in the 1930s, was first scheduled for screening on BBC4 on May 6, but was postponed after channel controllers expressed concern about the language used in it. The film, about the fight against literary censorship in the 1930s, is written and presented by Neil, was shot in Paris early last year, and begins with a quotation from Tropic Of Cancer. It's this quotation which seems to be causing all the problems....

Tropic of Cancer was first published in 1934, declared not to be obscene by the US Supreme Court in 1964, and we very much hope to be able to quote from it freely, in a film which is about literary censorship, on BBC4 some time in 2016. More news when we're given some.  

An article written by Neil to accompany the film can be read here. It was written for the BBC website, and will also be available there if and when a transmission date for the film is ever set. 



Sleeping Prince 200pxOur most recent E-list is also one of our more wide-ranging lists, the twenty items featured include Churchill's first book, a Victorian comedy classic, radio scripts used and annotated by Kenneth Williams and Joan Sims, and items inscribed by Terence Rattigan and John Betjeman, among many others. You can browse the list here.

Another list, one featuring material covering Modern First Editions, TV Comedy, Paris and Erotica, can be found here. A third, more modestly priced list, covering subjects guaranteed to lift the winter gloom -- 1920s vegetarianism, antiquarian spanking, a treatise on hanging -- can be found here




 We've Joined The Club

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We are delighted to announce that Neil Pearson Rare Books Ltd. is now a full Member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.