DE BEAUVOIR, Simone
The Second Sex
London, Jonathan Cape, (1953). The uncorrected proof copy of the first English edition of this foundational text of contemporary feminism, despite its being unsatisfactorily translated by H.M. Parshley, and not given another translation for more than 50 years. (The wife of Alfred Knopf, Beauvoir’s American publisher, heard of the book while in Paris and asked Parshley, a retired zoology professor, for a book report, which led to his translation, which Alfred Knopf asked him to condense prior to publication. This Cape edition came out the same year.) Despite its labored English-language birth, the translation popularized the idea that in a patriarchal society women are perceived as "other" and that gender is a societal construct; and it inspired Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, and at least one generation of women. Spine-cocked, with binder's glue bleeding through; small edge tears at the extremities; a very good copy. Scarce, fragile, and a key volume in the history of gender relations. [#035342] $450
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.