First Edition of Oscar Wilde's First Book
Oscar Wilde. Ravenna. Newdigate Prize Poem.
Recited in the Theatre, Oxford, June 26, 1878. Oxford. Thos.
Shrimpton and Son, 1878. First edition of the author's first
book. Small octavo. 16 pages. Original printed wrappers
bound-in. Finely bound by Riviere & Son in later full brown
levant morocco, spine lettered in gilt, five raised bands, gilt
board edges and turn-ins, all edges gilt. Fine. With the bookplate
of noted collector Harold T. Hartley, with a clipping of his review
of Wilde's reading of the poem.
"During a vacation ramble in 1877 [Wilde] started from Greece, visiting Ravenna by chance on the way, he obtained material for a poem on that ancient city, and singularly enough, 'Ravenna' was afterwards given out as the topic for the Newdigate competition." (Hamilton, The Aesthetic Movement in England, quoted in Mason.)
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