The first integral edition of Aphrodite by Pierre Louÿs, published by Bonnel in collaboration with Pascal Pia at Paris in 1926.

Titlepage of Les Onze Miller Verges by Guillaume Apollinaire Titlepage of Les Silenes by Alfred Jarry Titlepage of Trois filles de leur mere by Pierre Louys

A Catalogue of the
Publications of
René Bonnel

(1884 - 1975)

Introductory Note

Appearances to the contrary, this little catalogue was for the most part completed prior to receiving from a friend in Paris a Xerox copy of Claudine Brécourt-Villars' article and catalogue 'René Bonnel, un franc-tireur de l'édition des années folles' (Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, no. 7, January 2001). Ms. Brécourt-Villars lists all of the works to be found below, with the notable exception of Les Dix livres de cuisine d'Apicius which in fairness is not a clandestine work, nor in the strict meaning of the word is it an erotic one either. She also includes a handful of others that may not have been published by Bonnel. I have added these to the end of my list, together with my reasons for thinking why they should be excluded. As usual I will be happy to make corrections should I be wrong in my assumptions.

To judge from his edition of Apicious, it appears that Bonnel had a 'respectable' or non-clandestine side to his publishing business. Oddly, this is more difficult to trace than his erotica. Searches using his name in the on-line catalogue of the Bibliothèque Nationale provide few results, partly because their site seems annoyingly unstable compared to others of the same type, but also because their computer cataloguing practices often run the name of the 'editeur' into the date of publication or other data element. Thus a search for 'Bonnel' produces little or nothing because any books they might have are entered as 'Bonnel,1934' or something similar. Another vexing characteristic of the BN site is that it plants traces of itself in the cache of your PC - if you use Netscape at least, as I do - and these have to be removed before you can log back on. The only reason I can think of for this odd mechanism is to deter promiscuous browsing. In other words, they don't want individuals hogging their lines.

A bookseller in Paris named S. Goudemare issued a catalogue devoted to Bonnel's openly published works in 1991 which he called 'La Bande à Bonnel,' presumably a tongue-in-cheek reference to 'La Bande à Bonnot,' a gang of pre-WWI French anarchists led by Jules Bonnot, the alleged inventor of the getaway car. Unfortunately, I've not been able to locate a copy of Goudemare's catalogue, and I'd be grateful for any assistance in doing so.

Since the above paragraph was written, M. Alexandre Dupouy of Les Larmes d'éros/éditions Astarté (58 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris) generously provided me with a copy of Sylvain Goudemare's catalogue. To my chagrin, it did not, as I had fondly anticipated, provide a list of Bonnel's non-clandestine publications, and I am forced to the conclusion that with the one or two exceptions to be found noted below there wasn't a 'respectable' side to his business. 'La Bande à Bonnel' is actually a catalogue of books written, edited and published by the 'Bonnel Gang' which included Bonnel himself, and Pascal Pia, Eddy du Perron, André Malraux and others. It is nevertheless a catalogue of great interest and provided me with a new entry which I had overlooked, to be found listed under 'Baudelaire' below.

All references below to Pascal Pia are for the excellent second edition of his Les Livres de l'Enfer published at Paris in 1998 by Arthème Fayard.


[ALIBERT, Francois-Paul.] — Le Supplice d'une queue. Avec un frontispice gravé à la point sèche [by Pedro Creixams]. 1931. 8vo. pp. 98. Limited to 90 copies, with five exemplaires nominatifs reserved for the author and publisher. The limitation notice states the work to have been published by 'Editions de l'Ile de la Barthalesse.' [Pascal Pia, Les Livres de l'Enfer, 2nd edition, pp. 720,1]

APICIUS CÆLIUS [or Cœlius]. — Les Dix livres de cuisine d'Apicius. Traduits du latin pour la première fois et commentés par Bertrand Guégan. Paris: René Bonnel, éditeur, 8, rue Blanche, 1933 [5 octobre 1934.] 8vo. pp. lxxviii-323. Illustrations. [Bibliothèque Nationale: 8-V-51300. - British Library: 20009.ff.23.]

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume) [?Pascal Pia]. - Cortège priapique. La Havane [Paris]: Au Cabinet des Muses [René Bonnel & René Picart], 1925. 4to. pp. 25. With a Preface signed 'Leger Alype' [i.e. Pascal Pia]. Limited to 125 copies on papier des Manufactures Impériales du Japon. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. m. Ye. 690.]

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume). - Les Exploits d'une jeune Don Juan. Avec douze lithographies originales [by G.-L. Roux]. Cologne [Paris]: A la couronne des amours [1926]. 4to. pp. 80. Twelve plates. Limited to 137 copies. Contains a brief bibliographcal note, unsigned, by Pascal Pia. The plates were printed separately from the book by Mme. Duchatel. [Bibliothèque Nationale (2 copies): Enfer 1439. - Rés. p. Y2. 2616.]

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume) [?Pascal Pia, in part]. - Julie ou la rose. A Hambourg et se trouve à Paris [1927]. 16mo. pp. 28. Limited to 65 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. p. Ye. 2056, formerly Enfer 1605.]

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume). - Les Onze mille verges ou les amours d'un hospodar by G. A. [With a preface dated 'Mai 1930.', unsigned but by Louis Aragon.] Monte-Carlo: Les Ygrées, 1930. 16mo. pp. 168. Limited to 130 copies.

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume). - Les Onze mille verges ou les amours d'un hospodar by G. A. [With a preface dated 'Mai 1930.', unsigned but by Louis Aragon.] Nice: La Ratapignata, 1931. 16mo. pp. 168. Limited to 130 copies.

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume). - Les Onze mille verges ou les amours d'un hospodar by G. A. [With a preface dated 'Mai 1930.', unsigned but by Louis Aragon.] Menton-Garavan: P.L.M, 1932. 16mo. pp. 168. Limited to 130 copies.

APOLLINAIRE, (Guillaume) [?Pascal Pia]. - Le Verger des amours. Orné de six pointes sèches [by Foujita]. Monaco: 1924 [1927]. 16mo. Unpaged, but comprising ƒƒ. 40 in total. Limited to 120 copies on vergé de Rives a la forme, and three exemplaires nominatifs on Chine. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1110.]

ARAGON, (Louis). - Le Con d'Irène. 1928. 4to. pp. 88. Etched frontispiece and four plates [by André Masson]. Limited to 135 copies, and '15 exemplaires nominatifs.'

BATAILLE, (Georges). - Histoire de l'œil par Lord Auch. Avec huit lithographies originales [by André Masson]. Paris: 1928. 4to. pp. 104. Frontispiece and 7 plates. Limited to 134 copies. The plates were printed separately from the book by Mme. Duchatel. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. m. Y2. 1004.]

BAUDELAIRE, (Charles) [Pascal Pia]. - Années de Bruxelles: journaux inédits/Charles Baudelaire [Pascal Pia].  Publiés par Georges Garonne [Pascal Pia], avec un dessin inédit de Ch. Baudelaire [Pascal Pia] et des notes de Féli Gautier [Pascal Pia]. Paris: Éditions de la Grenade, 1927. 8vo. Pp. [81] [Printed by Gaston Coquette, 69, rue de la Glacière.] Limited to 150 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: RES 4- LN27- 62238.]

BOURDEL, (Pierre Du) [Pierre Dumarchey, aka Pierre Mac Orlan] - Mademoiselle de Mustelle et ses amis. Roman pervers d'une fillette élégante et vicieuse, orné d'un cuivre grave par Ferdine Zombi [Gaston-Louis Roux]. Saint Domingue: A La Boutique de poèsie [René Bonnel & Pascal Pia], 1928. 8vo., 'sous étuis.' Limited to 128 copies.

FORBERG, (Friedrich Carl). - Manuel d'érotologie classique. [i.e. the commentary by F. C. Forberg, entitled De figuris Veneris, extracted from his edition of the Hermaphroditus of Antonius Beccadelli.] Texte intégral trad. du latin par Alcide Bonneau. Paris: impr. pour René Bonnel, 1933. 8vo. pp. 225. [Bibliothèque Nationale: 8. Y2. 90000 (1042).]

FOUGERET DE MONTBRON, (Jean Louis). - Margot la ravaudeuse. Avec 12 gravures sur cuivre [by Demetrius Galanis]. Imprimé sur le copie de Hamburg pour quelques bibliophiles [1934]. 24mo. pp. 190. Limited to 250 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1207 (wanting the plates). - British Library: P.C.15.de.26 (with 2 additional plates).]

GAUTIER, (Théophile). - Poésies libertines comprenant treize pièces inédites publiées par un bibliophile, accompagnées de huit illustrations hors texte d'Auguste Brouet. [With an Introduction, unsigned, by René Jasinski.] Paris: René Bonnel [1935]. 8vo. pp. 90. Limited to 255 copies, comprising 250 on Arches and 5 on Hollande. A vignette on the front wrapper is the ex-libris of the publisher, designed for him by Demetrius Galanis. [Bibliothèque Nationale (2 copies): Enfer 1153 and 1469.]

JARRY, (Alfred). - Les Silènes. Avec un frontispiece gravé à l'eau-forte [by Demetrius Galanis]. Papeete: Le Bibliophiles Creoles [1926]. 4to. pp. 64. Limited to 104 copies, of which 100 were on vergé de Rives B.F.K. and 4 on Japon. [Bibliothèque Nationale (2 copies): Enfer 1049 and 1490.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Aphrodite. Mœurs antiques. Edition intégrale, comprenant des passages libres inédites et illustrée de seize gravures au burin et a la pointe sèche [by Serge Czerefkov]. Tiflis: Bagration Davidoff, Editeur [Rene Bonnel & Pascal Pia], 1928. 8vo. Three volumes, pp. 170, 176, 46. The third volume comprises "Notes sur Aphrodite [by Pascal Pia] accompagnées de quatre pages libres inédites reproduites en fac-similé." Sixteen engraved plates. Limited to 166 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1065 (vol. 2 only); Enfer 1395. - British Library: P.C. 15. e. 25 (vols. 1 & 2 only). - Compiler's collection.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Histoire de roi Gonzalve et des douze princesses. Madrid: Aux dépens d'un bibliophile [Rene Bonnel & Pascal Pia, 1927]. 4to. Unpaged, but [pp. 76] in total. Limited to 100 copies. [Compiler's collection.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Histoire de roi Gonzalve et des douze princesses. Madrid: Aux dépens d'un bibliophile [1933]. 32mo. pp. 130. Twelve engraved plates by [Auguste Brouet]. Limited to 205 copies. Pink wrappers, with a paper label on the front bearing the design of a phallic crown. [British Library: P.C. 13. a. 9, calling for a frontispiece and 13 plates.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - [A variant of the preceding.] Histoire de roi Gonzalve et des douze princesses. Madrid: Aux dépens d'un bibliophile [1933]. 32mo. pp. 130. Twelve engraved plates by [Auguste Brouet]. Limited to 205 copies. Pale brown wrappers with light yellow label bearing the intertwined initials of the author in red overprinted in black with the title of the book. In addition, the plates, which are inserted loosely, are in sanguine on pale blue paper. [British Library: P.C. 23. a. 30.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Pybrac. Poésies. Cythère: Au Coq Hardi, 1927. 16mo. pp. 98. The titlepage is illustrated with an erotic vignette by Foujita. Limited to 105 copies, of which 5 were on Japon and 100 on Arches. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1400.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Poésies érotiques de Pierre Louÿs. Imprimé à Liège, 1927. 16mo. pp. 70. Limited to 69 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. p. Ye. 2111.]

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - [A new edition of the preceding.] Poésies érotiques d'un auteur célèbre, illustrées de trente-deux lithographies originales dessinées par un artiste inconnu [Marcel Vertès]. Barcelone: Atarazanas (Barrio Chino), l'an I de la République Catalane [1932.] 4to. pp. [92], unnumbered. Limited to 165 copies, plus 5 hors commerce.

LOUŸS, (Pierre). - Trois Filles de Leur Mére. Aux dépens d'un amateur et pour ses amis [Paris: René Bonnel & Pascal Pia, 1926]. Large 8vo. pp. 361. Reproduced in facsimile of the author's MS. [Compiler's collection.] *** FIRST EDITION.

- The first edition of Trois filles de leur mère was printed on paper watermarked with the author's name spelled backwards - "Syuol Erreip." A short while afterwards, a contrafa├žon was struck off, identical in all respects to the true first except that it lacked this watermark. Who was responsible for this piracy is unknown, and even the claim that Bonnel and Pia did the first is speculation; G. Legman, in a letter to the compiler dated November 2 1987, wrote that he believed the original edition to have been "done by a bookseller on the Seine quais in Paris."

MORAND, (Paul). - Les Plaisirs Rhenans. Orné de sept lithographies originales [by Gaston Louis Roux] et coloriées à la main. Dusseldorf: Librairie Leocadia [1926]. 4to. Unpaged, but pp. [36]. Limited to 107 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. m.Y2. 1044.]

RADIGUET, (Raymond). - Jeux innocents. Avec réproduction de trois poèmes manuscrits en facsimile. Robinson: Sous les Tonnelles [1926]. 4to. Unpaged, but [pp. 34] in total. Limited to 63 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés. m. Ye. 613.]

RADIGUET, (Raymond). - Vers libres. Champigny: Au Panier fleuri [1926]. 8vo. Unpaged, but pp. [40]. Limited to 125 copies on Hollande. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 940.]

RIMBAUD, (Arthur). - Les Stupra, augmentée d'une poème inédit [by Pascal Pia] et illustrés de cinq eaux-fortes par un graveur flamand [Frans de Geetere]. Paris: Au Ecluses de Paris, 1925. 4to. Unpaged, but pp. [22]. 161 copies. There is a brief Notice by 'Marcelle la Pompe' [Renée Dunan or Pascal Pia]. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1048. - Compiler's collection.]

SATYREMONT [Benjamin Peret]. - Les Couilles enragées.

- The police prevented publication of this surrealist work in 1928 when they raided the printer on another matter. They discovered the sheets and, presumably, the illustrations by Yves Tanguy, and seized everything. The book was eventually published in a discrete and limited edition in 1954 by Eric Losfeld, with the title on the wrapper prudently changed to Les Rouilles encagées.

VERLAINE, (Paul). - Hombres et fac-similé de la lettre de Paliseul. Ségovie: À l'Enseigne de la grenade, 1926. 8vo. pp. 56, and a facsimile of a 4-page letter. Limited to 100 copies on Japon. There is a Note and a Notice signed 'A. M.' and 'Avinin Mireur' respectively, which Brécourt-Villars says are by Pascal Pia. Pia himself says nothing concerning his authorship (see: Pia, 2nd. edition, p. 350). [Bibliothèque Nationale: - Rés. p. Ye. 2062, formerly Enfer 1050.]

Doubtful Publications

My suspicions concerning the following titles stem mostly from the fact that Pascal Pia either neglects to mention that Bonnel published them, states without hesitation that somebody else did or omits them altogether. Pia evidently knew Bonnel well; the two were friends for many years and collaborated on a number of publishing projects. It seems unlikely that he would be ignorant of any of Bonnel's clandestine ventures.

FRICK, (Louis de Gonzague). - Le Calamiste Alizé. n.p., n.d. [1933]. No illustrations. Limited to 65 copies. - Listed by Brécourt-Villars, who provides no information on repository copies or her source of information concerning this edition. Pia (2nd. ed., p. 102-103) describes the first edition of these erotic poems, which were published in 1921 by Simon Kra and limited to 150 copies. There is no copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Pia makes no reference to a later edition.

MAUPASSANT, (Guy de). - A la feuille de Rose. Maison turque, comédie de mœurs (mauvaises) en un acte en prose representée pour la première fois a Paris, en 1875. [With a preface, unsigned, by Pierre Borel.] Paris: 1945. 8vo. pp. 70. Three coloured lithographs. Limited to 225 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Enfer 1464. - Compiler's collection.] - Pia (2nd. ed., p. 23-24) describes this edition, but provides no information as to who published it except that its place of origin was Nice rather than Paris where Bonnel habitually worked. However, the compiler's copy has a manuscript inscription in ink, unsigned but in the unmistakable autograph the late Gershon Legman, which gives: '[Nice: R.B. & A.B.].' These initials are expanded in pencil to say 'René Bonnel [&] André Bottin.' The general consensus in the world of erotic bibliophily is that Bottin was the publisher of this work. Perhaps it was a joint effort?

MERIMEE, (Prosper). - Lettres libres à Stendhal avec neuf lithographies par G. Roux. Paris: Aux Êditions de la Grenade, 1927. 4to. pp. 58. Limited to 150 copies. The text is preceded by a note signed 'P.P.' [Pascal Pia]. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés m. Z. 73.] - Concerning this edition, Pia (2nd. ed, p. 690) makes no mention of Rene Bonnel, but provides the addresses of the two printers used for the text and the plates, and the publisher. However the similarity between the imprint of the present volume and the edition of Verlaine's Hombres listed above is certainly suggestive.

STENDHAL. - Les Ecrits érotiques de Stendhal. 1801. Bruxelles 1832. 4to. Unpaged, but pp. [52]. Limited to 98 copies. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés m. Z. 521]

-Pia (2nd edition, p. 226) states that this work was printed in 1927 [Brécourt-Villars gives 1928] "par les Artisans Imprimeurs pour le compte d'un editeur occasionnel M. L. Ch…".

VERLAINE, (Paul). - Les amies scène d'amour sapphique. Sonnets par le licencié Pablo de Herlagnèz illustré de sept eaux fortes originales. Ségovie 1870-1926 [1926]. Small 4to. Unpaged, but pp. [28] and 7 leaves for the plates. Limited to 150 copies, 21 on Japon ancien ├á la forme et 129 on Japon impérial. [Bibliothèque Nationale: Rés P. Ye. 2877].

- Not in Pia, but published in 1926 at Paris by René Bonnel and illustrated by Frans de Geetere according to a sale catalogue, Paris, Drouot, March 3rd 1987, lot no. 275.

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