The One Who Is Legion or A.D.'s After-Life. Natalie Clifford Barney.
The One Who Is Legion or A.D.'s After-Life
The One Who Is Legion or A.D.'s After-Life

The One Who Is Legion or A.D.'s After-Life. With Two Illustrations by Romaine Brooks

London: Eric Partridge Ltd., 1930. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's green buckram cloth, spine gilt,top edge gilt, original printed dust jacket,

"All those who are out of the body must find again the body." First edition of millionairess and queer Lost Generation poet and playwright Natalie Barney’s only novel, the only work she wrote entirely in English. Written in the intentionally anachronistic traditional style she was known for, the book centers on a suicide known as "A.D.," who comes back to life as an intersex person to read the journals of their past life. Envisioning an ideal existence unlimited by gender norms, Barney’s utopic vision of a quasi-lesbian existence was a central inspiration for fellow writer, one-time lover, and close friend Djuna Barnes’s thematically twinned Nightwood (1936). While the work was praised by members of her coterie, publisher Eric Partridge found the book so bewildering that he convinced Barney to write a short afterword with a plot summary and descriptive list of characters (the front flap of the dust jacket suggests that the "Author’s Note be read first"). Illustrated with two black-and-white plates of paintings by American artist and Barney’s lifelong partner Romaine Brooks. One of 525 unnumbered copies from a total edition of 560. Embrowning to endpapers from binder's glue, minor shelfwear to boards; unclipped dust jacket with cellotape repairs to verso, some toning, soiling and edgewear. With all, a better than very good copy of a scarce, often overlooked classic, especially so in the fragile dust jacket. Item #4465


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