The Picture of Dorian Gray

WILDE, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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In the original publisher's binding.

WILDE, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. London, New York & Melbourne: Ward, Locke & Bowden Limited, [1895].

Crown 8vo, original bevelled grey boards, with gilt title and ten small 'butterfly' designs; backed with parchment spine, decorated and lettered to foot with author's name and title gilt, both designed by Charles Ricketts; grey endpapers; outer edges untrimmed; pp. vii, [i], 334, [ii], [8-page publisher's catalogue]; the rear board soiled, the spine darkened, split and reglued along the outer hinges, as well as to a few cracks along the spine; a couple of patches of rubbing to the outer edges of boards; internally clean, save for the odd spot.
Second edition in book form, issued from the same sheets as the first.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was initially published in a novella-length version in the July 1890 issue of the American periodical Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. Wilde then revised and expanded that text into a novel published in book form in April 1891. The present edition was published in October 1895, four years after the first, and includes an 8-page catalogue of publisher's announcements.
While its publication was met with poor reviews, Wilde's only novel is now considered to be his masterpiece. Fearing that the story was indecent, the magzazine deleted around five hundred words without Wilde's knowledge prior to its initial publication, including passages alluding to homosexuality, and all "mistress" references to Gray's lovers. Despite the cuts, the book was described as indecent, tainted, and scandalous, and W H Smith, Britain's largest bookseller at the time, withdrew every copy of the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine from its bookstalls in railway stations.
In an 1894 letter, Wilde wrote that the novel "contains much of me in it — Basil Hallward is what I think I am; Lord Henry, what the world thinks me; Dorian is what I would like to be — in other ages, perhaps."
Rare in any condition.
Mason, p. 347.