Inscribed by Bertrand Russell to his Publisher Horace Liveright

  • Marriage and Morals.

Marriage and Morals.


Item Number: 54042

New York: Horace Liveright, 1929.

First edition of this work by Russell, in which he questions the Victorian notions of morality regarding sex and marriage. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to his publisher, “To Horace Liveright from Bertrand Russell with love & admiration.” The recipient, Horace Liveright was an American publisher and stage producer. With Albert Boni, he founded the Modern Library and Boni & Liveright publishers. He published the books of numerous influential American and British authors. In 1917 Liveright founded the Modern Library. It was formed as a reprinting line, publishing inexpensive books from European modernists, while Liveright published the work of contemporary Americans. Liveright published work by T. S. Eliot (The Waste Land), Charles Fort (The Book of the Damned), Theodore Dreiser (An American Tragedy), and Bertrand Russell (Marriage and Morals). The company also published the first books by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Hart Crane, Dorothy Parker, and S. J. Perelman. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. A significant association.

According to Russell, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for Marriage and Morals. "When I was called to Stockholm, at the end of 1950, to receive the Nobel Prize -- somewhat to my surprise, for literature, for my book Marriage and Morals -- I was apprehensive, since I remembered that, exactly 300 years earlier, Descartes had been called to Scandinavia by Queen Christina in the winter time and had died of the cold" (Russell, Autobiography p. 521). which Russell questions the Victorian notions of morality regarding sex and marriage. In Marriage and Morals, Russell argues that the laws and ideas about sex of his time were a potpourri from various sources, which were no longer valid with the advent of contraception, as the sexual acts are now separated from the conception. He argues that family is most important for the welfare of children, and as such, a man and a woman should be considered bound only after her first pregnancy.

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