London: Ward, Locke & Co., 1891. First edition. One of 250 copies of the signed, limited edition, preceded only by the issue in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July, 1890 (in much abbreviated format). A Near Fine copy with toning to the spine panel, minor wear at the spine ends and an early gift inscription on the first blank. SIGNED by the author on the limitation page. A notoriously fragile production, generally encountered much the worse for wear. This copy has been gently handled and was likely never read.
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. Housed in a cardboard chemise and slipcase with minor wear. Additional images available upon request. Near Fine (Item #530)
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