Sunday 6 May 2012

Books being delicate

More from Grant Richards' biography. This letter from Oscar Wilde, refusing to supply a review copy of his Poems:

16 Tite Street

Dear Sir,
    The new edition of my poems is limited to 200 copies, and these are meant not for reviewers, but merely for lovers of poetry, a small and quite unimportant sect of perfect people - so I fear I cannot bid my book wander towards Mowbray House - its rainment, gold smeared on tired purple, might attract attention in the Strand, and that would annoy it, books being delicate and most sensitive things, and, if they are books worth reading, having a strong dislike of the public.
    So, you see I must perforce refuse your request.
    Yours truly,
        Oscar Wilde.

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