[Madrid]: Privately Printed, . 12mo, 110 pp, bound in purple cloth embossed with a snakeskin pattern, and titled in gilt at the spine. With a foreword by Valle Inclán. Illegible signature and date to title page.
The impossibly rare first edition of this series of prose poems by the Chilean anarcha-feminist poet, and either her third or fourth book, which was dedicated to the Argentinean poet Horacio Ramos Mejía. Wilms Montt published the book in exile in Madrid in 1918 after being denied entry into New York on suspicion of being a spy for Germany. She had left Buenos Aires after Mejía had committed suicide in her home, and would herself committ suicide three years after the publication of this work.
The book contains an illustrated title page, a page listing other works by the author, and a dedication page, but lists no publisher or publication date. This is the only copy we've handled, and we're unsure whether the gorgeous purple snakeskin binding is the original binding, or whether this was an early sympathetically bound example. OCLC locates only a single holding, at the University of Georgia, which also doesn't record a publisher name, though it does assign a date of 1918.
The book is illustrated with a series of 6 decadent drawings, some of which are repeated as motifs in the book. One shows a rose growing out of a human skull, and another shows a snake bearing a cross on its head coiled around the neck of a woman, with the snake's tongue caressing the lips of the woman. The latter drawing is signed with the initials P and R, though we've been unable to determine the artist.
The embossed cloth binding shows heavy erosion, particularly to the back panel, possibly the result of insect damage. There is some light insect damage to the top edge of the text block, and some moderate internal toning, as well as a faint smudge to the title page, otherwise near very good. Item #29892