London: Methuen, (1905).
Preface by Robert Ross. Arguably, this item is the single most important copy of the First Edition of Wilde's painful accounting of the effect of social débâcle and imprisonment: the famed Robert Ross copy. The only work Wilde wrote in prison and the last work in prose he ever wrote, the manuscript of which Wilde entrusted to his dear friend, Robert [Robbie] Ross, his sometime lover, most stalwart supporter, and writer of this book's Preface. To add even more significance to the item, this copy is inscribed by Ross himself (and dated Feb. 26th 1906) to their mutual friend Ponsonby [Augustus Moore Sullivan], rumored sometime lover to Wilde and brother-in-law to Wilde's close friend More Adey. On the front free endpaper, the inscription reads: For Ponsonby / from / Robert Ross / Feb 26th 1906. Just a very good copy, albeit quite heavily foxed on the preliminary pages, yet the book's 151 pages following the Preface (plus the Methuen ads following) are quite clean and presentable. The book is housed in a stunning deep blue custom clamshell box of full oasis morocco, gilt ruled, raised bands, rich gilt foliage ornamentation, leather bands, gilt titles. A thoroughly elegant and impressive presentation as befits this significant literary treasure.. Item #10129