Rare bookshop find comes to auction

One of the highlights of our Spring Specialist Auction is a rare first edition of Michael Dillon's 'Self', a fascinating insight into Britain's LGBTQ+ history. 

Dillon, Michael - 'Self, A Study in Ethics and Endocrinology', the scarce first edition published by William Heinemann, Medical Books, Ltd. (1946), in the original publisher's cloth binding and unclipped dust wrapper. Michael Dillon was a British physician and author, and is known as the first trans man to undergo gender reaffirming surgery.

As his first work, 'Self' discusses psycho-physical mechanisms in human nature and what we now understand as transsexuality, on which he believed "where the mind cannot be made to fit the body," he wrote, "the body should be made to fit, approximately at any rate, to the mind." Dillon also performed the first gender reaffirming surgery on a trans woman, the racing driver and fighter pilot Roberta Cowell, in the 1950s.

Dillon worked and lived in Bristol for some time, and is also recognised for his devotion to and written works on Buddhism.

A fascinating and scarce work of twentieth century psychiatry and psycology - there are only twenty-two copies documented and held in UK libraries - which showcases mid-twentieth century understandings and expressions of gender and sexuality. An important work for the historian, psychiatrist, and book collector alike.

This rare and special lot will appear in our Spring Specialist auction on Thursday 14th March.  We are currently accepting entries.