Birthday of the Infanta, The; With Illustrations by Alastair

Oscar Wilde's Tale The Birthday of the Infanta
Illustrated by Alastair
A Presentation Copy From Alastair to the French Writer and Bibliophile Pierre Mornand

ALASTAIR [VOIGHT, Hans Henning, illustrator]. WILDE, Oscar. The Birthday of the Infanta. With Illustrations by Alastair. Paris: The Black Sun Press, Editions Narcisse, 1928.

One of one-hundred copies on Hollande Van Gelder Zonen (this copy Examplaire "hors commerce"). Quarto 11 x 9 1/8 inches; 280 x 232 mm.). [12], 39, [40], [2, blank], [1, limitation], [1, blank] pp. With eight plates illustrated in brownish-gold and black, and one plate illustrated in red and black. Two additional color drawings in the text (page 1 and page [40]).

Original wrappers printed in brown and black with original glassine wrapper. Complete with the original silver cardboard chemise and silver cardboard slipcase. A very fine copy.

Neatly inscribed by Alastair in blue ink on the front free-endpaper to "Pierre Mornand" "En Souvenir de L'inconnu
[in remembrance of the unknown] Alastair"

Inscribed copies of Alastair's books are very rare.

Pierre Mornand (born 1884) was a French writer and bibliophile. He was the editor-in-chief of Le Courrier graphique.

Alastair (Hans Henning Voight) 1887-1969, was a a writer, artist, dancer, and illustrator. His drawings were inspired by the work of Aubrey Beardsley, and combines his elegant skill with his fascination of the perverse, sinister, and satanic. The Crosby's published this tale from Wilde primarily to provide Alastair's interpretation of Wilde's story. As Harry Crosby states in the preface " That Wilde should have written the Birthday of the Infanta was natural, that Alastair should have illustrated it was inevitable."

The Birthday of the Infanta was first seen separately in 1905 without illustrations. It is a tale taken and reprinted from A House of Pomegranates which was first published in 1891 without much success. The story is about the love an ugly dwarf feels for the princess and how he is ridiculed. Finally he dies of a broken heart. This tale, as in the others in A House of Pomegranates was written during a time of turmoil in the life of Oscar Wilde and it demonstrates his gift for perceiving life's misfortunes with innocence and imagination despite the nasty rumors that were circulating about him at the time.

Minkoff A13. Item #03383

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