Wednesday, June 13, 2018

359. Ricketts's Design of Oscar Wilde's Poems (1892) (6)

Summer. Sitting in the garden. Browsing the internet, looking for nothing in particular. Finding myself on the site of British Library, which is a wonderful treasure trove.

I read a post about Oscar Wilde's 1892 volume of Poems, which I have been discussing several weeks ago. I know I have promised to continue the series, and I will. However, today, I will limit myself to correct a small and sympathetic error.

Oscar Wilde,
[British Library]
The blogpost 'Poems by Oscar Wilde' contains four images of the book, a copy that came from the collection of Donald and Mary Hyde and was given to the British Library as the Lady Eccles Oscar Wilde Collection (shelfmark: Eccles 254).

The short commentary accompanying the splendid images of copy No. 18 contain one rather regrettable error. The design of the book is not ascribed to Ricketts, but to his rival (in a sense) Aubrey Beardsley:

Although Oscar Wilde is best known for his plays and novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), he also published poetry. This gilded volume from 1892 is beautifully designed by Aubrey Beardsley, who would later produce the illustrations to Wilde's Salomé (1891). It is number 18 from a limited edition of 220 copies, and is signed by Wilde himself facing the title page.

Please, delete the sentence about Beardsley and Salomé and insert a phrase about the design of The Picture of Dorian Gray that was also by Ricketts. And yes, the design is quite beautiful even if Beardsley cannot be credited with it.

PS (19 June 2018): The text of blogpost 'Poems by Oscar Wilde' has been corrected.