London: Ward Locke & Co, 1891. First edition. Fine. An excellent copy of the first UK edition and the first complete edition. Preceded by the abridged Lippincott Magazine edition (and the abridged Ivers & Co. piracy). Offered here is the trade edition, as the book was also issued as a signed, limited edition of 250 copies. With the error on p. 208 "nd" for "and." In a lovely, modern full morocco binding by Asprey Bindery. An excellent copy internally with all edges gilt and marbled end-papers. The author's only published novel and a gothic masterpiece. A complex psychological study of a man who fully embraces an hedonistic world-view, seduced by the idea of ageless beauty. Drawing on a rich literary tradition, including: "Faust," "Jekyll and Hyde," and Shakespeare, among others, Wilde's sensational novel met with moral censure from all sides. However, it quickly became closely associated with the aesthetic movement, which espoused that art and literature need only be beautiful, not send a moral or sentimental message. Modern critics and readers agree that "Dorian Gray" now stands within the very top tier of literary efforts. The book also had a profound impact on Wilde's own life, since a copy was lent by Lionel Johnson to his cousin Lord Alfred Douglas, who begged to be taken to meet the author. Thus Wilde saw his own fictional character come to life. Fine.
(Inventory #: 1694)
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