Elysium: Asphodel Editions (2005). 1st Edition. Hardcover. This edition is the first English translation of the eccentric Baron Fersen's decadent gay novel, Lord Lyllian: Messes Noires. Fersen (1880-1923) was arrested in 1903 and charged with indecent assault and exciting minors to debauchery. He was forced to leave France and settled in Capri, where he began the novel the following year. Originally published in 1905, it was one of the first novels written about Oscar Wilde after his demise and is filled with outrageous descriptions of fin de siècle excesses, including Fersen’s own addiction to opium and adolescent boys. The edition is limited to 500 copies bound in black silk moiré, with a reproduction of the original cover illustration by Claude Simpson tipped onto the cover. Jeremy Reed has contributed an Introduction to the edition. Printed at the Stinehour Press in Vermont.
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Edinburgh: G.P. Johnston (1895). 223pp. A curious collection of 1890s poetry- each poem bears the name of an artist or writer, including Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud, John Gray, Lionel Johnson, etc. Printed dedication to Walter Pater. Very good in gilt-decorated boards, spine dulled, corners bumped. The endpaper bears an equally curious inscription: "Wingett (?) Fisher from the girls/ Wilton House 4-2-03." Brian Reade's penciled note on endpaper notes the book's scarcity. Limited to 666 copies.
Edinburgh: Privately Printed (1981). An essay by Jeremy Mason on Wilde's stay in Berneval after his release from prison, with several tipped in photographs and a previously unpublished letter from Wilde to Reggie Turner. One of 70 numbered copies printed letterpress at the Tragara Press, fine in marbled wrappers.
Hölder: Vienna (1921). 123pp. A highly laudatory collection of writings about Wilde and his work by the Swedish.critic. Bendz wrote about Wilde in several languages and this book contains five essays in English and French. A near fine copy in original wrappers, small bookplate. One of 400 numbered copies, this copy signed by the author. Laid into a linen chemise and slipcase, with light wear.
Paris: E. Figuiere . 168 pp. 2nd ed. Wilde's famous novel, adapted to the theater by Suzanne Mercet. (Although the author notes in the introduction: "Cette pièce n'est pas- une adaptation, c'est une transmutation de l'or pur du roman d Oscar Wilde en une matière dramatique aussi précieuse et aussi brillante, puisqu'il l'avait inconsciemment préparée." Very good in marbled boards, original wrappers present (with cover illustration by "Kit") #966 of an unknown edition Quite uncommon and likely the first dramatic presentation of Wilde's novel in France.
Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart (1882). Hardcover. Wilde contributed the foreword to this eccentrically produced book of poetry, which he arranged the publication for while in America. Rodd and Wilde had been close companions for some time, but this book prompted their estrangement. One of an unknown ediiton of deluxe copies, printed on one side of each leaf only in brown ink on thin handmade parchment paper, interleaved with green tissue paper, bound in vellum, top edges gilt. Very good, vellum a bit darkened, small portion of front pastedown missing. Uncommon.