Lasner will discuss Oscar Wilde's "presentation copies," or copies of his own works presented as tokens of love, friendship, and self-promotion. Based on the study of several hundred inscribed books in public and private collections (including Lasner’s own), the talk will focus on the unusual, and often overlooked, importance of presentation copies for biographical and bibliographical research. Wilde presented his books to many of the most significant figures of the late Victorian literary and art world, including Aubrey Beardsley, Robert Browning, Max Beerbohm, Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, Sara Bernhardt, Stephane Mallarmé, William Rothenstein, George Bernard Shaw, Ellen Terry, his wife, Constance Wilde, as well as Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde’s work was widely read and received by his contemporaries, and his presentation copies testify to the centrality of his place in Victorian culture.
Mark Samuels Lasner is a collector, bibliographer, and an expert on the art and literature of late 19th century Britain. He is the author of many literary and bibliographical texts.
The Book History Colloquium series is free and open to the public. All events are held on Columbia's Morningside Campus in Butler Library’s room 523 from 6:00–7:30 PM. For detailed speaker information or information on upcoming events, please visit http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/rbml/exhibitions/bhc.html or e-mail Gerald Cloud at firstname.lastname@example.org.