by Wilde, Oscar (Text by); G. Cornelius (Illustrations by); Henry D. Davray (Preface by)
Paris: Javal et Bourdeaux, 1927. Limited edition. Softcover. f to fine. 1/225. Large quarto. 25,  loose pages (Preface), XLV,  loose pages (Text), as issued. Original glassine over decorative dust-jacket and blind wrappers. Book housed in its publisher's paper covered chemise and decorative paper covered slipcase.Stunning limited edition of Oscar Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," a poem written while in exile in France, after his release from jail in May 1897. Wilde had been incarcerated at the HM Prison Reading after being convicted of "gross indecency" in 1895 and sentenced to two years' hard labor.Illustrated with 15 striking hand-colored copper engravings (9 full page and 6 headpieces) by Symbolist French artist Jean-Georges Cornelius, this work addresses the shame, dehumanization and brutality of incarceration and hard-labor sentences.Each engraving is tissue-guarded. One of 225 copies on Imperial Japan paper, of which this is No. 94.This rare work is not in Horodisch.Slipcase partly rubbed and sunned along edges. Top lid missing. Chemise age-toned along edges. Glassine with closed tears at head and tail of spine. Minor closed tear along upper front joint of dust-jacket. Offsetting on title page and along fore-edge of page 7. Minor creasing to tissue-guards. Text in French. Slipcase in overall fair, chemise in good, dust-jacket and wrappers in good+, interior in very good, engravings in fine condition. (Inventory #: 40562)
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