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Ideal Husband By the Author of Lady Windermere's Fan.
London Leonard Smithers and Co. 1899 - First Edition, One of One Thousand Copies [WILDE, Oscar]. An Ideal Husband. By the Author of Lady Windermere’s Fan London: Leonard Smithers and Co., 1899. First edition. One of 1,000 copies printed. Small quarto (8 1/8 x 6 inches; 207 x 153 mm). [16], 213, [1, printer’s imprint], [2, blank] pp. Printed at the Chiswick Press. Original mauve cloth decoratively stamped in gilt on covers and spine with designs by Charles Shannon. Spine lettered in gilt. Some minor foxing. Spine is sunned. A bit of wrinkling to the cloth. Head of the spine with some minor wear. Overall a very good copy. "From October 1893 Wilde worked on An Ideal Husband, whose highly political plot he elaborated from an anecdote told by Frank Harris. Sir Robert Chiltern, saved by his friend Lord Goring from blackmail over his sale of a cabinet secret in the remote past, leaps at the first chance of forbidding Goring's marriage to his sister because Goring had entertained the lady from whom he obtained the document. Although now known to Goring as thief and traitor, Chiltern once secure becomes the House of Commons moralist, reclaiming moral superiority regardless—or perhaps mindful—of what Goring must think of him. Shaw, now the Saturday Review theatre critic, hailed Wilde as ‘our only thorough playwright. He plays with everything: with wit, with philosophy, with drama, with actors and audience, with the whole theatre’ (12 Jan 1895). Lewis Waller played Chiltern in his production at the Haymarket, with Julia Neilson as his wife: they opened on 3 January 1895. Charles Brookfield (playing Goring's valet, Phipps), helped gather evidence that might implicate Wilde in recently criminalized homosexual relations. Wilde had found the theatre a haven where homosexuality found acknowledgement if not acceptance. It also meant that enemies could discover more, quicker." (DNB). Mason 385. HBS 65689. $2,000 [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Heritage Book Shop, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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