Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf. With an Introduction by Oscar Wilde.
by Rodd, Rennell.
Sm. Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., 1882. Sm. 8vo, 115pp. with b/w illustrations in the text. Original tan cloth with gilt stamp and red lettering on front cover. A bit worn and soiled, some leaves opened carelessly. First edition, trade issue. “James Rennell Rodd (1858-1941) was a contemporary of Wilde’s at Oxford, and was later to have a highly successful diplomatic career. In 1881 Rodd published a volume of verse entitled Songs in the South. The copy Rodd presented to Wilde included an Italian inscription of a curiously prophetic nature, which may be translated as "At your martyrdom the ravenous and vindictive crowd, whom you are addressing, will coalesce. They will mass to witness you on your cross, and not one will take pity on you." During his visit to America in 1882 Wilde had the volume reprinted as Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf. Wilde provided an introduction, "L’Envoi" as he called it, and edited the book by removing two poems and inserting nine others by Rodd that were previously uncollected. Rodd took exception to some of Wilde's sentiments in the introduction, and was particularly irritated by the book's effusive new dedication, which was composed by Wilde himself: "To Oscar Wilde – "Heart’s Brother" – these few songs and many songs to come." This edition was exceptionally well received on publication.” (Sotheby’s). (Inventory #: 109924)
Books and manuscripts in all fields, especially medieval illuminated and text manuscripts; material on California, Hawaii, and Pacific voyages; illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century; children's books from 1750 to 1950; and fine press printing. William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin are special interests.
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