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WILDE, Oscar.

The Importance of Being Earnest....

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Leonard Smithers and Co, 1899

Stock Code: 125779

£29,500
signed
OR On display in 43 Dover Street

Notes

First edition, signed limited issue, number 32 of 100 large paper copies signed by the author. The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde's last play, opened to great acclaim on Valentine's Day 1895 but was withdrawn after Wilde's failed libel suit against Lord Queensbury led to his arrest.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". The play was issued in a standard edition of 1,000 copies, this large paper edition and twelve copies on vellum, most of which the author presented to his friends.

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Description

Square octavo (176 x 217 mm). Bound for Hatchards (Piccadilly) in near-contemporary green crushed half morocco, green cloth sides, title and decoration to spine in gilt, green marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, green silk page marker, original cloth bound-in to rear. Housed in a green quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.

Condition

Spine slightly faded, touch of rubbing to extremities, slight foxing to prelims, otherwise internally clean. A lovely copy, attractively bound.

Delivery

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