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124945 124945_1 124945_2
124945
WILDE, Oscar.

The Importance of Being Earnest....

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by the Author of Lady Windermere's Fan.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Leonard Smithers and Co, 1899

Stock Code: 124945

£3,750
OR On display in 43 Dover Street

Notes

First and limited edition, out-of-series copy out of an edition of 1,000 copies, in the scarce variant binding. The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde's last play, opened to great acclaim on Valentine's Day 1895 but was withdrawn after Wilde's failed libel suit against Lord Queensbury led to his arrest. The subsequent "utter social destruction of Wilde" (ODNB) meant that the play was not published in book form until February 1899, after Wilde's release from prison. Richard Ellmann comments that Smithers's handsome editions of Earnest and An Ideal Husband "brought Wilde a little money".
This copy is in the scarce variant binding, featuring a design with more elongated and extravagant gilt floral motifs compared to the standard version. This design was used later in the same year for the covers of An Ideal Husband.

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Description

Square octavo. Original pale purple cloth, title to spine in gilt, gilt floral motifs from designs by Charles Shannon to spine and covers, untrimmed.

Condition

Near-contemporary ownership inscription to front free endpaper. Spine a little faded, three small holes possibly from worming to rear joint, very light rubbing to ends and corners, some slight dust soiling and a few minor marks to cloth. Internally sound and free from all but the faintest spotting; a very good copy indeed.

Delivery

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