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WILDE, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills (1854-1900). An Ideal Husband. London: Leonard Smithers and Co., 1899.
WILDE, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills (1854-1900). An Ideal Husband. London: Leonard Smithers and Co., 1899.

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WILDE, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills (1854-1900). An Ideal Husband. London: Leonard Smithers and Co., 1899.

4° (222 x 180mm). Half-title. Original brown-red cloth gilt, designed by Charles Shannon, uncut (spine darkened, extremities rubbed, covers lightly soiled, corners bumped, endpapers lightly browned). Provenance: John Rowland Fothergill (pencil signature on front endpaper).

FIRST EDITION, LIMITED LARGE-PAPER ISSUE, number 76 of 100 numbered copies on Dutch hand-made paper SIGNED: 'Oscar Wilde' beneath the colophon. The play opened in January 1895 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, to a standing ovation from the Prince of Wales and prominent members of the British government: the very same establishment that would soon turn its back on Wilde after his fall from grace in April. As a result of his disgrace, the play would only be published by Smithers some four years later. Mason 386; cf. Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde (1987), pp. 404ff, 527. For other copies of Wilde's works with Fothergill provenance, please see the following lot and Christie's South Kensington forthcoming sale of Fine Printed Books, 13 June 2011, lots 149 and 150).

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