The Ballad of Reading Gaol. By C.3.3.London: Leonard Smithers, 1898 Stock Code: 144054
First and limited edition, one of 800 unnumbered copies printed on handmade paper, this attractive example entirely unopened. A further 30 copies were issued on japon. Wilde published this work under the pseudonym "C.3.3." after his cell in Reading Gaol (cell 3 on the third landing of Gallery C). The first edition sold out rapidly, and a second edition was printed within weeks.
Provenance: purchased by book dealer and co-founder of the Society for Theatre Research Ifan Kyrle Fletcher in 1960, with his neat pencil note recording the purchase on the front pastedown. Sold by Fletcher to Helen Hambro, née Boyson (1936-2004), an editorial assistant for the Society's Theatre Notebook, and bought from the Hambro estate.
Octavo. Entirely unopened in original white cloth-backed yellow cloth, spine lettered in gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed.
Spine faintly toned, a little light marking to cloth, offsetting to endpapers, overall a near-fine, copy.
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