'An Ideal Husband' by Oscar Wilde (1899)

'An Ideal Husband' by Oscar Wilde (1899)

For sale is a recently re-bound copy of 'An Ideal Husband' by Oscar Wilde. This is the first edition from 1899, published by Leonard Smithers which was limited to just 1000 copies. 
 
This book has been bound in pink goatskin leather, supplied by Harmatan and Oakridge who are widely regarded as the finest book leather supplier in Europe. The original cover design by Charles Shannon has been reproduced with gold stamping to the front and back boards and to the spine. The top edge of the book has been re-gilded by hand and the foredge and bottom edge have been left rough cut as originally intended. The endpapers are made from hand marbled paper, supplied by master marbler Jemma Lewis (UK).

 

The book comes in a custom solander box for full protection. This has been covered in an off white book cloth and lined with pink suede. The spine design mirrors the spine of the book with the addition of the authors name.
 
Internally, the book is in excellent condition. There are a couple of pages with some mid to heavy spotting early on in the text but otherwise it is very clean throughout. The spotting on the two rough page edges is throughout the book (see photo). This is age related and appears due to the deckling.
 
 
About This Edition
 
First edition. Limited edition. This is one of one thousand un-numbered copies.
 
"One thousand copies of this edition have been printed" to first blank following the title page. There was no author stated on the first printing, with just "By the Author of Lady Windermere's Fan" printed on the title page. There is a dedication to Frank Harris printed in the front of the book.
 
Printed at the Chiswick Press - Charles Whittingham & Co., Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London.
 
An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. In the summer of 1893, Oscar Wilde began writing An Ideal Husband, and he completed it later that winter. He initially sent the completed play to the Garrick Theatre, where the manager rejected it, but it was soon accepted by the Haymarket Theatre. The play gave the Haymarket the success it desperately needed. After opening on 3 January 1895, it continued for 124 performances. In April of that year, Wilde was arrested for 'gross indecency' and his name was publicly removed from the play. On 6 April, the same day as Wilde's arrest, the play moved to the Criterion Theatre where it ran from 13-27 April. The play was published in July 1899 when Wilde was living in France, although Wilde was not listed as the author. This published version differs slightly from the performed play, for Wilde added many passages and cut others. Prominent additions included written stage directions and character descriptions. Together with The Importance of Being Earnest, it is often considered Wilde's dramatic masterpiece. After Earnest, it is his most popularly produced play.
    £1,750.00Price