New York: E.P. Dutton, Inc. / Viking Penguin, 1983. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing (see below for dates and specifics on the subsequent three volumes), all octavo size, 1132 total pp., [first and third volumes] signed by the author using both names, [second volume only] signed as "Anne Rice" Fine / fine. Item #21032105
The "Beauty" series, by Anne Rice (b. 1941), published under her nom de plume of "A.N. Roquelaure", has brought the world of unconventional sex into the reading rooms of millions and becoming a huge commercial success. Although viewed by some as nothing but pornography, others disagree; Anne Rice herself "firmly believed that women should have the freedom to read and write whatever they pleased, and considered the trilogy her political statement."
As is stated on the "official" Anne Rice website, "Her re-telling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire." The books have become the subject of study, with one university professor stating "that rewriting the myth of Sleeping Beauty as sadomasochistic fantasies enabled Anne Rice to explore 'liminal areas of experience that could not be articulated in conventional literature, extant pornography, or politically correct discourse'." (n.b., both of the above quotes from Wiki.)
It was only after the first three novels were published, in 1990, that Anne Rice was revealed to be the author behind "A.N. Roquelaure"; that name was chosen as it is the French word used in the 18th century for a cloak worn by men.
___DESCRIPTION: "Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" bound in full tan paper over boards, red lettering stamped on the spine, author's signature (using both names) in black ink on the front free endpaper, pictorial title page, published in 1983, stated First Edition with full number line, chapter headings enclosed within a circular decorative border; wrap-around pictorial dust jacket shows the original price of $13.95, summary of the book on both flaps. "Beauty's Punishment" bound in full red paper over boards, gilt lettering stamped onto the spine, signed "Anne Rice" in black felt-tip on the half-title page, pictorial title page, published in 1984, stated First Edition with full number line, chapter headings enclosed within a circular decorative border; wrap-around pictorial dust jacket shows the original price of $14.95, summary of the book on both flaps, review blurbs for "Claiming" on the back panel. "Beauty's Release" bound in full lavendar paper over boards, silver lettering stamped onto the spine, author's signature (using both names) in black ink on the front free endpaper, pictorial title page, published in 1985, stated First Edition with full number line, chapter headings enclosed within a circular decorative border; pictorial dust jacket shows the original price of $15.95, summary of the book on both flaps, review blurbs on the back panel. "Beauty's Kingdom", the first of this series to be published under the author's own name, is bound in half black paper over golden yellow boards, gilt lettering stamped onto the spine, illustrated title page, published in 2015 by Viking Penguin, with their statement of First Edition and with full number line, each chapter with a more ornate border around the headings; decorative dust jacket with lettering in gold and white has the original price of $32.95, summary of book on the front flap, bio and picture of Anne Rice on the back flap.
The first three novels (all published by E.P. Dutton) uniform in size, octavos (8.5" by 5"); the fourth novel (published by Viking) also an octavo (9.25" by 6.25"). Pagination as follows: "Claiming" [i-vi] vii-[x], 1-253, [blank, 254] [announcment of a sequel, 255]; "Punishment" [i-iv] v-[xii] 1-233, [blank, 234] [sequel announcement, 235]; "Release" [i-iv] v-xiv, 1-238; and "Kingdom" [i-x] xi-xii [1-2] 3-356.
___CONDITION: Overall the set is fine, in fine dust jackets. Each volume with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, strong, square text blocks with solid hinges, the interiors are clean and bright, and the set is entirely free of prior owner markings; each volume clean, crisp, and as new. The dust jackets are all unclipped, all clean, all with bright, deep colours (no sunning), and mostly free of noticeable edgewear; "Claiming" with some light creasing at the tail of the spine, "Punishment" with light wear at the corners (where the flaps meet the panels), with a small chip at the top front corner; overall a fine set, with the first three volumes all signed by the author, two of the three with her signature using both names.
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