WILDE, Oscar.



[Collected works, edited by Robbie Ross.]
London & Paris, Methuen & Carrington, 1908-22.

In stock



The first collected edition of Wilde’s works, here present in its most desirable state.

Comprising: A Woman of No Importance; The Duchess of Padua; Salome, a Florentine Tragedy and Vera; Lady Windermere’s Fan; De Profundis; Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Pieces; Miscellanies; An Ideal Husband; The Importance of Being Earnest; Poems; The Picture of Dorian Gray (with the imprint Paris: Charles Carrington, 1908); Reviews; A House of Pomegranates and Other Tales; Intentions and the Soul of Man.

The additional volume, published later, in 1922, is a controversial title. Wilde’s biographer, Christopher Millard, circulated a letter amongst the book trade claiming that this work was not by Wilde but rather by a Mrs. Chan Toon, otherwise known as Mabel Cosgrove. Mrs. Chan Toon had at some point been married to the nephew of the King of Burma and was herself an author. Throughout his career, Millard had fought tirelessly to have other fraudulent works attributed to Wilde exposed. Apparently Mrs. Chan Toon had previously approached him with letters from Wilde that Millard believed to be fakes. In 1926, Millard was sued by Methuen and he lost the case. Mabel Cosgrove was unable to attend the trial as she was languishing in prison serving a sentence for theft, having defrauded an elderly woman. She also spent time in a prison in Mexico for blackmail. Due to the controversy and inconclusive evidence as to who wrote the play, Methuen never published this title again.


First collected edition; 14 volumes, 8vo; one of 80 sets printed on Japanese vellum; publisher’s cream vellum, gilt decorative devices to front panels by Charles Ricketts, yapp edges, top edges gilt, 13 volumes have the imprint of Methuen & Co., and one, The Picture of Dorian Gray, has the imprint of Charles Carrington, Paris (as called for), usual mild wrinkling to most paste-downs, covers mildly toned, some volumes with minor glue reaction (both points usual with vellum bindings) , otherwise exceptionally fine internally and externally.

[Together with], For Love of the King: A Burmese Masque. Methuen issued this work in 1922, intending it to be a supplementary volume to the above set but never issued in vellum; printed on hand-made paper and limited to 1000 copies only; publisher’s cream cloth, browning to spine and edges, dust-jacket with some expert archival repairs to the interior of the folds, Ex-libris Frederick Spiegelberg (name plate on front paste-down) as well as Gertrude & Edward A Strauss (bookplate on front paste-down), previous bookseller label on rear paste-down, a very good copy.


Mason 421, 424, 426, 428, 430, 432, 434, 436, 438, 440, 442, 444, 446 and 448.


Stock ID: 99914