In 1888 Walter’s hand written manuscript (amounting to over one million words) was smuggled out of England to be privately printed in Amsterdam. Despite various attempts throughout the intervening years it was not until nearly a century later, in the 1960s that My Secret Life was finally released by Grove Press in the USA . However improbable it may seem in our own enlightened times, in the same decade a UK publisher named Frank Dobson, was imprisoned under the Obscenity Act for releasing several of its volumes. Amongst the famous owners of the first edition of My Secret Life are Marlene Dietrich’s Svengali Josef Von Sternberg, comedian Harold Lloyd and occultist Aleister Crowley.
1888-1894: August Brancart, Amsterdam – eleven volumes, reportedly only 20 to 25 copies.
1888: [Unknown, likely August Brancart, Amsterdam] – “first reprint”, limited to 475 copies. Harvard Library has copy number 353.
1934: Treat 'Em Right Publishing, New York (seized on April 10, 1934 and burned on November 27, 1934 by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice; no copies known to exist.)
1966: Grove Press, New York – Vol. 1/6, 7/11. Abridged but unexpurgated. Included expanded version of essay on authorship by Gershon Legman.
1966: Arthur Dobson, Britain – apocryphal printing of volumes 1 and 2 that were never sold due to Dobson’s arrest for “purveying filth.” Fate of these copies is currently unknown.
1967: Pendulum Press, Atlanta GA – facsimile of all 11 volumes of 1888 edition. Brandon House, North Hollywood CA – “complete and unexpurgated.”
1972: Granada Publishing, London – Featuring introduction by scholar Gordon Grimley. Grove Press, New York Panther, London
1984: Panther Books, London
1988: Blue Moon Books, New York
1994: Arrow, London
1995: Arrow, London, volumes I & II Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire
1996: Carroll & Graf, New York Wordsworth Editions Ltd, Herts – multiple volumes (?). Mackays of Chatham, Chatham, Kent Penguin Group, New York – edited, abridged and with an introduction by James Kincaid with Richard Tithecott.
2006: Chalford Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire – Vol. One & Vol. 2.
2007: Nonsuch Publishing (Vol. 1) Tempus Publishing, Limited (Vol. 2) Signet Classics – Edited by James Kincaid, New Afterward by Paul Sawyer.
2007: Bawdy Books, Great Britain
2009: Harper Perenial, London
Last modified 7 August 2017