WILDE, Oscar. Lady Windermere's Fan. A Play about a Good Woman. London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane, 1893.
8o. 16-page publisher's catalogue at end. Original red-violet cloth, covers with gilt ornaments after Charles Shannon, uncut (spine lightly soiled). Provenance: Edmund Gosse (1845-1928), critic, essayist, poet, translator (presentation inscription); Marjorie Wiggin Prescott (her sale, Christie's New York, 6 Feburary 1981, lot 376); Anonymous owner (sold Sotheby's New York, 17 May 1984, lot 715).
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY WILDE TO EDMUND GOSSE on the blank page facing the title: "To Edmund Gosse, with the author's compliments. London. Oscar Wilde." 500 copies of the first edition were issued on 9 November 1893. A smaller limitation of 50 large-paper copies was also issued.
Edmund Gosse was privately educated and entered the British Museum as assistant librarian in 1867. In 1875 he became translator to the board of trade, a post which he held until 1904. He was a great admirer and student of Northern languages and published several works on the subject, as well as a life of Ibsen. Gosse knew virtually all of his literary contemporaries, and was an especially close friend of Swinburne in earlier years, and later of Stevenson and Henry James. Mason 358.
COX, E.H.M, compiler. The Library of Edmund Gosse. London: Dulau & Company, 1924. 8o. (Some pale foxing.) Original blue cloth. Provenance: A.J.A. Symons (bookplate). FIRST EDITION of the catalogue of Gosse's library, which lists this copy of Lady Windermere's Fan, as well as inscribed copies of Salomé and The Ballad of Reading Gaol on pages 290-292. (2)