De Profundis

WILDE, Oscar

ONE OF 200 LARGE PAPER COPIES

WILDE, Oscar De Profundis

Methuen and Co., 1905.

First edition. One of two-hundred copies printed on large handmade paper. Publisher's original white buckram, decorated in gilt with vignettes by Charles Ricketts. Top edge gilt, others uncut. A very near fine copy, uncommonly clean and bright with just a couple of small marks to the buckram. Internally it is wonderfully fresh.

The first edition of the only literary work Wilde produced while in prison, limited to 200 copies in this format, and published by Robert Ross five years after his death. Ricketts's designs for the cover vignettes are particularly apt, showing first a bird behind prison bars, then a bird flying free and finally, at the foot of the cover, a star shining above the "great waters" that Wilde describes in the final, cathartic paragraph of the work.
The immediate success of this book, entering its twelfth edition by 1908, along with the popularity of his The Ballad Of Reading Gaol, helped to lift the bankruptcy of his estate by 1906.

PROVENANCE: Contemporary bookplate of Fitzroy Keith Chapman to front pastedown.

Mason 389.

Stock ID: 39601

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