Aldous Huxley First Editions

This beautiful collection of first editions by the ‘Brave New World’ author includes extraordinarily experimental works that have proved hugely influential.
In ‘The Doors Of Perception’, 1954, Huxley treated himself as guinea-pig in a mind-bending experiment, exploring the consciousness-altering powers of drugs and recording experiences with a mix of scientific precision and poetic language. Among his many fans were the music group The Doors, who took inspiration for their band name from his title, which in turn was lifted from a William Blake poem.
In ‘The Doors” equally ambitious companion book ‘Heaven And Hell,’ Huxley continued his quest to cleanse his perception and attain greater understanding, trying both ancient and new methods.
‘Science, Liberty & Peace,’ published in 1947, is a perceptive examination of how mankind mishandles technological advances, using science to empower the ruling minority, rather than to support wider society. It’s a powerful plea for the humanistic application of  knowledge, that seems as relevant today as ever.
‘Time Must Have A Stop’ and ‘The Genius and the Goddess’ are both novels with great scope, exploring relationships, individuality, and the trials of the human soul. The former is as bizarre and multi-layered as the latter is humorously dry.
These are all elegantly-designed rare copies, complete with original dust jackets.
Available in our Soho shop today.

The Society Club Presents: Kingdom Come By Paul Spencer

For the Queen’s Jubilee,  The Society Club Presents: Kingdom Come By Paul Spencer
A gritty celebration of British life since the last Jubilee from Paul Spencer’s unique archive.  If you prefer your Jubilee to be taken without sugar, this is the exhibition for you.
From gangsters, strippers, outlaws and spankers to John Lydon, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, Robert Carlyle, Vivienne Westwood, Tank Girl and Blur’s seminal British Image shoot, celebrity is placed firmly back in context with its punk, skin, mod and street gang roots in this gritty exhibition of Paul Spencer’s unseen archive of music artists and celebrities shown in raw beauty.
Paul’s portraits have established identities and music movements: The much celebrated Blur British Image shoot is highlighted by the band in their feature-length documentary, Nowhere Left to Run, as the launch-pad of their Britpop rise to fame. Paul’s seminal Morrissey images were chosen by the Artiste for two album covers, and the ‘face’ for his Greatest Hits Tour. Shooting Stockbridge as the personification of Jamie Hewlett’s cult comic hero, Tank Girl, Paul Spencer’s images adorned the front covers of Vogue, Elle and The Face – and yet this is only half the story.
The exhibition will run from Friday 1st June until Thursday 6th June.
You can pledge to help Paul create his book Kingdom Come celebrating his archive at Unbound

Derek Ridgers Photography

Really nice write-up of our current exhibition ‘Un/Seen’ by Derek Ridgers.   Show is up for the rest of the month, you should come-by and see it.

His straight-up photographic style pinned those clubbing butterflies like curios into the display case labelled Swinging 80s. They trigger the involuntary remembrance of the texture of an era as readily as cake did for Marcel Proust: each image has the potential to become the “vase filled with perfumes, sounds, places and climates”.

Throughout April and May we may relish the Ridgers back catalogue in a new exhibition titled Unseen at Soho’s Society Club. The selection documents celebrities and street stylists from 35 years of commissions by music mags and national press. Here is an engaging mix of concert shots and powerfully intimate portraits in which eye-contact is key: Nick Cave, David Lynch, J G Ballard, Boy George, Leigh Bowery, Tom Waits, The Cramps, Mick Jagger, plus the image of Keith Richards which is currently touring in the Sunday Times Magazine 50th anniversary show.

Private view of ‘Unseen’ by leading photographer Derek Ridgers

How can you write beautifully about a world from which all beauty has been stripped?

In ‘The Road,’ Cormack McCarthy writes of a father and son who must walk across a dead America, a land that can no longer support life, carrying their only possessions in a shaky cart, along with the fierce hope that their fight for survival might mean something.

As ash rains down from burnt trees and the few remaining humans scavenge for sustenance, their reliance on each other is played out in stark contrast against the desolated country.

McCarthy came up with the idea for his book late one night, standing at a hotel window while his young son slept within. As he watched the empty streets he wondered how much they stood to lose, and what was really worth clinging on to.
What he came up with in the weeks that followed is an unflinching warning, but also a surprisingly moving and intimate look at how much we humans should mean to each other. Rarely have I read something so simple and credible that has carried such profound weight.
…And it’s also just a great story, so compulsive that many readers finish it in one go.

“A work of such beauty that you will struggle to look away. It will knock the breath from your lungs.” Tom Getti, The Times.
(Copies in store today. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this book.)

Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Just arrived, this Best of Dorothy Parker, Folio Society Hardback – in a lovely silver binding with slip-case.  She’s one of our absolute favourites.  And if not for your own bookcase, this is a great gift.

The ladies men admire, I’ve heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They’d rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints …
So far, I’ve had no complaints.
The Best of Dorothy Parker Folio Society Edition