Paris: Editions de la Revue Blanche, 1901. First Edition. Arguably, along with Le Surmâle (1902), Jarry's most traditional (and heterosexual) novel, originally serialized in the Revue Blanche in July, 1900. A meticulously researched fictionalization of the life of the Roman Empress Messalina, possibly written in the hopes of replicating the commercial successes of Flaubert's Salammbô and Louÿs' Aphrodite. Despite falling under the category of "genre" fiction, Messaline is still considered to be a pataphysical novel, each sentence historically accurate and simultaneously fantastical, revealing "history...as an imaginary solution." (See Alastair Brotchie, Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life, p. 264.). Octavo (18.5cm.); original white printed wrappers; 232,pp.; woodcut iillus. on title page verso printed in blue. Joints a bit rubbed, very small loss to spine foot not affecting text, wrapper edges a touch creased from handling, else Very Good.