“For the Love of the King: A Burmese Masque” - 1922
A lovely Limited First Edition of Oscar Wilde’s For the Love of the King: A Burmese Masque, published in 1922. Methuen and Co., London, 1922. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. Discoloration on the spine and some age wear; 39 pages. Cream buckram stamped in gilt. (Some darkening and light foxing to covers; offset to endpapers. One of 1000 copies printed on handmade paper. From the personal collection of Elizabeth Leslie Roos, whose family founded the upscale Roos-Atkins men’s clothing store based in San Francisco, and whose signature appears on the inside cover.
As described in the 1922 introduction: “The very interesting and richly coloured masque or pantomimic play which is here printed in book form for the first time, was invented sometime in 1894 or possibly a little earlier. It was written, not for publication, but as a personal gift to the author’s friend and friend of his family, Mrs. Chan Toon, and was sent to her with the letter that follows and explains its origin. Mrs. Chan Toon, before her marriage to Mr. Chan Toon, a Burmese gentleman, nephew of the King of Burma and a barrister of the Middle Temple, was Miss Mabel Cosgrove, the daughter of Mr. Ernest Cosgrove of Lancaster Gate, a friend of Sir William and Lady Wilde, and herself brought up with Oscar and his brother Willie. For a long while Mrs. Chan Toon, who after her husband’s death became Mrs. Woodhouse-Pearse, refused to permit the masque to be printed. The late Robert Ross much wanted to include it in an edition of Wilde’s works, of which it now forms a part, but he could not obtain its owner’s consent. An arrangement, however, having been completed, the play is now made public.”