The Ballad of Reading Gaol. By C.3.3. (1905)
Book ID: 64718
The Ballad of Reading Gaol. By C.3.3. [Oscar Wilde]. London: Leonard Smithers, 1899. Unauthorized edition published circa. 1905. Pp, 31, untrimmed. Quarter linen spine, tan cloth boards. Mild shelf-wear to covers, contents clean and bright.
The last of Smithers’s authorized editions (the seventh) was issued in 1898. After Wilde’s death, Smithers began to bring out unauthorized editions printed by G. Wooley on laid paper and continued to do so up to his own death in 1907.
C.3.3. Was Wilde’s cell number. He noted to a publisher that ‘it would be better to publish there without my name. I see that it is my name that terrifies.’ Later issues included his name in parenthesis of the title page.
Without Smithers’ financial help, a contributing factor to the publisher’s bankruptcy two years later, it seems certain that The Ballad of Reading Gaol would not have been published in Wilde’s lifetime.
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