Salome; A Tragedy in One Act: Translated from the French of Oscar Wilde, with Sixteen Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley.

The First Edition of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”
to Contain the Complete Set of Beardsley Illustrations

[BEARDSLEY, Aubrey, illustrator]. WILDE, Oscar. Salome. A Tragedy in One Act: Translated from the French of Oscar Wilde, with Sixteen Drawings by Aubrey Beardsley. London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1907.

Second Beardsley edition (the first was published by Elkin Mathews & John Lane in 1894 with thirteen illustrations) and the first to contain the complete set of Beardsley illustrations—the ”Cover Design,” “John and Salomé”, and the second plate of “The Toilette of Salomé” having been suppressed, and the “Title Page” and “Enter Herodias” altered, in the first edition. Small quarto (8 3/8 x 6 7/8 inches; 212 x 174 mm.). [4, blank], [2, half-title], [4, frontispiece and title-page], [2, “The Persons of the Play”], xiii-xviii, [6, second half-title and programs for the first English production and for Richard Strauss’s opera], 65, [1], [2, advertisements] pp. Sixteen inserted plates on Japanese vellum, including frontispiece, title-page, cover design suppressed in the 1894 edition, and “List of the Pictures by Aubrey Beardsley.”

Original green linen boards. Front cover lettered in gilt and decoratively stamped in gilt in a design by Beardsley prepared for the 1894 edition but not used. Spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Bookseller’s ticket (“W.H. Smith & Son, English Booksellers, 248, Rue de Rivoli, Paris”) on front pastedown. The absolute minimum of rubbing to spine extremities, two tiny indentations on front board, one at top edge, and one at bottom edge. Otherwise a very fine copy, exceptionally clean and bright, with only minimal offsetting from the plates.

“Published in September 1906 with postdated title-page. Lane’s second edition with Beardsley illustrations, the text of the play revised. Also contains a note on Salome by Robert Ross and programs for the first English production (10 May 1905) and for Richard Strauss’s opera (9 December 1905)” (Lasner).

“Between the last preliminary leaf [p. xx] and p. 1 of text are inserted two leaves, on the front of the first being the Cast of the Performance of Salomé as represented in England for the first time by the New Stage Club on May 10 and 13, 1905; on the inside of the two leaves (the reverse of the second being blank) is a facsimile reproduction of the play-bill of the first production of the Operatic Version by Richard Strauss at the Königliches Operahaus, Dresden, on December 9, 1905” (Mason).

“All the illustrations are printed on Japanese vellum from new plates” (Mason).

Lasner, Beardsley, 59D. Mason 355. Item #00318

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