Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf. With an Introduction by Oscar Wilde.
Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., 1882. Sm. 8vo, 115pp. with b/w illustrations in the text. Original tan cloth with gilt stamp and red lettering on front cover. A bit worn and soiled, some leaves opened carelessly. First edition, trade issue. James Rennell Rodd (1858-1941) was a contemporary of Wildes at Oxford, and was later to have a highly successful diplomatic career. In 1881 Rodd published a volume of verse entitled Songs in the South. The copy Rodd presented to Wilde included an Italian inscription of a curiously prophetic nature, which may be translated as "At your martyrdom the ravenous and vindictive crowd, whom you are addressing, will coalesce. They will mass to witness you on your cross, and not one will take pity on you." During his visit to America in 1882 Wilde had the volume reprinted as Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf. Wilde provided an introduction, "LEnvoi" as he called it, and edited the book by removing two poems and inserting nine others by Rodd that were previously uncollected. Rodd took exception to some of Wilde's sentiments in the introduction, and was particularly irritated by the book's effusive new dedication, which was composed by Wilde himself: "To Oscar Wilde "Hearts Brother" these few songs and many songs to come." This edition was exceptionally well received on publication. (Sothebys).
(Item Id: 109924)