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First edition. Octavo. Publisher’s blue cloth, lettered and decorated gilt, with a gilt vignette of a caged dove to the upper cover. Top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Methuen catalogue to rear dated February 1905.


A very good copy, a little rubbed to the edges and dulled to the spine.


The first printing of the only literary work composed by Oscar Wilde while in prison, and the last prose work he ever wrote.


It began as a letter written to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, but became in the writing a confessional masterpiece after Augustine, Pascal and Newman.


After leaving prison he handed the manuscript to Robert Ross in Dieppe, urging him to publish it:

“The truth will have to be known, not necessarily in my lifetime, or Douglas’s.”


Ross published the manuscript in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death. In this originally published version, all reference to Douglas was removed, so much so that when he himself reviewed the book, he failed to recognise that he was originally due to be its sole recipient.


PROVENANCE: Contemporary ownerships inscription of “A. Clement Jones, February 1905” to front free endpaper, with his bookplate to front pastedown.

De Profundis

SKU: 110
Out of Stock
  • Author

    Oscar Wilde

  • Publisher

    London: Methuen & Co.

  • Date


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