WILDE, Oscar--HOMER. The Iliad. Edited by F.A. Paley. London: Gilbert and Rivington for Whittaker & Co. and George Bell, 1866-1871.
Volume II (only, of two), 8° (222 x 137mm). Series title and frontispiece. (Some light browning and spotting, some leaves lightly dampstained or marked.) Original brown cloth, spine lettered in gilt, boards with blind-stamped borders and series devices (lower board ink-stained, extremities lightly worn, endpapers replaced, upper hinge partially split), morocco-backed chemise and slipcase. Provenance: James Thornton, Oxford (bookseller's ticket on upper pastedown)--Oscar Wilde (ownership inscription on title 'Oscar F[ingal]. Wilde. Trin[ity]. Coll[ege]. D[ublin]. August. 1873.'; extensive marginal annotations in ink and pencil and pencilled underlinings)--Frank J. Hogan (1877-1944, gilt morocco booklabel on upper pastedown).
WILDE'S OWN COPY, DATING FROM THE PERIOD OF HIS DEGREE AT TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN. In 1871 Wilde had won a scholarship from Portora Royal School to Trinity, where he studied classics under the Reverend J.P. Mahaffy, the Professor of Ancient History, whose influence on Wilde's nascent philhellenism was very great; as Wilde wrote to Mahaffy some twenty years later, he was his 'first and best teacher, [...] the scholar who showed me how to love Greek things' (O. Wilde The Complete Letters (London: 2000), p.562). At Trinity, Wilde excelled as a classicist, winning one of the ten Foundation Scholarships and ending his career there by winning the Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek in 1874.
The text is extensively underlined, and the majority of Wilde's annotations--in English, with occasional words in Greek--are translations of words, phrases or sentences, while the remainder give references to different usages of specific words, either at other points in the work or in other texts, and demonstrate a close and studious reading of the text.