[NELSON, Michael]. A Room in Chelsea Square: A Witty Novel.

(Garden City, NY): Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1959. First edition. Octavo. 216 pages. A “camp” novel about “bitchy queens in 1950s London”, A Room in Chelsea Square is semi-autobiographical. It was published anonymously because of its explicit gay content at a time when homosexuality was still illegal, and since its characters were thinly disguised portraits of prominent literary figures in London. The main character ‘Patrick’ is based on arts philanthropist Peter Watson; ‘Ronnie’ is based on Cyril Connolly, editor of the literary magazine Horizon; and ‘Christopher’ is based on the poet Stephen Spender. The novel portrays Patrick as a wealthy gentleman who lures an attractive younger man to London with the promise of an upper crust lifestyle. This is a very good copy, small split at front gutter, previous owner’s name, partially hidden by jacket flap on front pastedown, in a very good Edward Gorey designed dust jacket. Scarce.


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