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WILDE, Oscar.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales.

Illustrated by Walter Crane and Jacomb Hood.

London: David Nutt, 1888 Stock Code: 139228
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Presentation copy

First edition, presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper a month after publication, "Edith Cowes from her sincere friend the author. Oscar Wilde, June, 88". A woman of that name contributed an article on the artist James Tissot in the Century Magazine (Edith Cowes, "Tissot's Life of Christ", Century Magazine, 51, no. 37, 1895-96).

The Happy Prince and Other Tales was the author's first and best-known collection of children's stories, including "The Selfish Giant", "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Devoted Friend", and "The Remarkable Rocket". Wilde's "reputation as an author dated from the publication of the Happy Prince and Other Tales in London in May 1888. The Athenaeum compared him to Hans Christian Andersen, and Pater wrote to say that 'The Selfish Giant' was 'perfect in its kind,' and the whole book written in 'pure English' - a wonderful compliment" (Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde, 1987, p. 282).

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Small quarto. Original white Japanese vellum boards, spine lettered in black, front cover lettered in red with design in black by Jacomb Hood, edges untrimmed. Housed in a red morocco-backed slipcase, spine lettered in gilt, red cloth sides and chemise.


Frontispiece with tissue-guard and 2 plates by Walter Crane, 12 head- and tailpieces by Jacomb Hood.


Very slight patches of chipping and creasing at joints and extremities, slight superficial split in front hinge, contents foxed, some gatherings unopened and others opened a little roughly. A very good copy, the binding clean and unrestored.


Mason 313.


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