Wednesday 16 August 2017

Fans going Wilde for literary rarities

Aisling Cunningham with a first edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'
Aisling Cunningham with a first edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'
An original theatre programme for the 1895 world premiere of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

Oscar Wilde fans are flocking to a Dublin bookshop to see an original programme from the world premiere of his play 'The Importance of Being Earnest', which took place on February 14, 1895, at St James's Theatre in London.

Also on show are four signed photographs of the original cast. Aisling Cunningham of Cathach Books on Dublin's Duke Street told the Irish Independent that interest from the public had been "extraordinary".

"It's remarkable to have a programme and pictures signed by the actors for sale together," said Ms Cunningham about the set, which is selling for €950.

However, the Oscar Wilde find isn't the only rarity in the antiquarian book sellers, run by Ms Cunningham and her brother David and founded by their late father Enda Cunningham.

There's also a first edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' on sale for €39,000. Published by Shakespeare & Company in Paris in 1922, it is one of a limited edition of 1,000 books, this edition being one of 750 printed on handmade paper.

"Despite the price there have been some offers on this book already. It is expensive but we're in no hurry to sell it," said Ms Cunningham.

Irish Independent

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