WILDE, Oscar – The Ballad of Reading Gaol (By C. 3. 3)


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Original white cloth-backed orange cloth, spine lettered in gilt, edges untrimmed and entirely unopened. Very light foxing to endpapers, contents clean; a very good copy throughout. Leonard Smithers’s pirated edition, with Wilde’s name in square brackets to the title page, and line 17 on page 15 printed as: “And loud they sang, and loud they sang”, as in his last authorized edition of 1899. Wilde published this work under the pseudonym “C.3.3.” after his cell in Reading Gaol (cell 3 on the third landing of Gallery C). The first edition, published by Smithers in 1898, sold out rapidly, and a second edition was printed within weeks. After Wilde’s death Smithers began publishing unauthorised editions of his works on laid paper, from stereotyped plated, with his address suppressed. These were continuously printed with the title page dated 1899 until Smithers’s death in December 1907.
Published: Leonard Smithers, 1899 (Mdccccxcix)