Item #31324 The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Oscar Wilde.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
(Government: Justice/Injustice)

The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Ward, Lynd (illus.)

NY: Vanguard Press, 1928. Ward’s mezzotints, scattered throughout the poem as both borders and full-page illustrations, wield his characteristically soft lines, keen gestures, and ominous shading to emotionally portray the undue hardship endured by Wilde and his fellow prisoners at Reading. Wilde drew particular inspiration from his own experience, having been incarcerated for “gross indecency,” a homophobic label ascribed to romance and sex between men. Wilde was also moved by the imprisonment and execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, who had been convicted of killing his common-law wife. Throughout his verses, which he wrote while in exile in France, Wilde dwells on the unjust treatment of prisoners, on their denigration and dehumanization, and on their individualism in the face of impossible indignity. Ward’s artwork, stemming from his previous work on the devolution of humankind when oppressed by systemic forces of capitalism and war, adds apt and striking visuals.

Octavo. 107pp. One of 2000 copies. Inscribed by Ward to J.M. DeWolfe of the Boston bookselling firm DeWolfe & Fiske. Bound in faux wood veneer boards, with title in black at spine. Very good, with shelf-toning, mild soiling to rear cover, and a cosmetic crack to head of spine. Original dust wrapper similarly toned, with some edgewear. Item #31324

Price: $650.00

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