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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

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The Importance of Being Earnest

by Wilde, Oscar

  • Used
  • near fine
  • Signed
  • first
Near Fine
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Portland, Oregon, United States
Item Price
SGD 83,118.00
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About This Item

London: Leonard Smithers and Co, 1899. Signed Limited First Edition. Near Fine. Signed limited first edition. [xii], 152 pp. Bound in publisher's original pale lavender cloth with gilt spine lettering and decorations by Charles Shannon. Copy number 82 of 100 large paper copies signed by Oscar Wilde with a flourish. Near Fine with subtle sunning, several barely discernible spots to cloth, short bubble to rear cloth. Typical offsetting to endpapers, and a 5" tear to the rear endpaper. Contents bright and fresh. A beautiful copy. Wilde's masterpiece, which opened to wide acclaim at the St. James's Theatre, London, on February 14, 1895. It was withdrawn after 86 performances following his arrest and imprisonment on charges of gross indecency as a consequence of his failed libel suit against Lord Queensbury, the father of Wilde's homosexual lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. He was outed as gay (a disgrace in Victorian society) and the play was not published in any form until the present edition, following his release from prison. It has been hailed as an exemplary farce, called by poet W.H. Auden "a pure verbal opera.


Set in England during the late Victorian era, the play's humour derives in part from characters maintaining fictitious identities to escape unwelcome social obligations. It is replete with witty dialogue and satirises some of the foibles and hypocrisy of late Victorian society. It has proved Wilde's most enduringly popular play. - [*Wikipedia*][1] [1]:


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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The Importance of Being Earnest
Wilde, Oscar
Book Condition
Used - Near Fine
Quantity Available
Signed Limited First Edition
Leonard Smithers and Co
Place of Publication
Date Published

Terms of Sale

Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.

About the Seller

Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2010
Portland, Oregon
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About Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Burnside Rare Books specializes in literary first editions and works of cultural and historic significance. We are located in Portland, Oregon and welcome visitors by appointment.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...

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