Tuesday, July 03, 2012
AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in June 2012
AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in June 2012: Last month AbeBooks sold a limited edition copy of Oscar Wilde’s famous comedic stage play An Ideal Husband for $20,120. The book was published in 1899 by London firm Leonard Smithers, who also published works by Sir Richard Francis Burton, Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm and other authors associated with the Decadent Movement. In fact after the trials of Wilde in 1895, Smithers was one of the few publishers prepared to handle ‘decadent’ literature. The year following the publication of An Ideal Husband, Smithers went bankrupt, and he eventually died in 1907 from the effects of drink and drug use. His body was found on his 46th birthday, surrounded by empty bottles of ‘Dr J. Collis Browne's Chlorodyne’ - a mixture that contained laudanum, cannabis, and chloroform.