The picture of Dorian Gray : autograph manuscript signed.

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Accession number: 
MA 883
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900.
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With its memorable tale of ageless beauty and a concealed portrait, The Picture of Dorian Gray stands as one of Oscar Wilde's most enduring and widely read literary works. One of the Morgan's great literary treasures is the earliest surviving manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the text of which forms the basis for the novel's first printed edition.
Paleographical and textual evidence establishes that the Morgan manuscript is not the earliest draft of the novel, but the earliest surviving draft. It is largely a fair copy of the earlier (now lost) draft, yet nonetheless bears significant additions and deletions by Wilde demonstrating how the author labored to hone his only long piece of fiction over several distinct textual versions. A great number of these changes alter our sense of Wilde's characters or make significant changes to the book's narration. It is also well known that Wilde made several revisions to the 1891 edition of Dorian Gray that downplay the homoerotic exchanges of Basil Hallward, Lord Henry Wotton, and Dorian Gray. In some cases Wilde introduced such changes in the manuscript itself, as when he removes a reference to Hallward clasping Wotton's hand or touching Dorian's cheek. The Morgan's manuscript of Dorian Gray also features the original closing lines of the book, referring to a "dead body" instead of a "dead man," lying on the floor "with a knife in its heart."
The manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray entered the Morgan's collection in 1913, when it was acquired from the collector and fellow financier Eugene Meyer Jr. (1875-1959) for $2,500. The manuscript had previously been held in Louis I. Haber's book collection, which sold at auction in 1909.

1 item (264 [i.e., 262] leaves) ; 34 cm

High reserve.
Original version in thirteen chapters as published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine for July, 1890.
The William Andrews Clark Library, UCLA, holds the typescript copied from this manuscript, which was then revised by Wilde before being sent to the printer.

Housed in: 
Brown morocco.
From the Louis I. Haber (sale, Dec. 8, 1909, lot 1776) and Eugene Meyer, Jr. collections. Said to have been bought by J. Sabin for $1000 at the Haber sale; acquired from Meyer, June 30, 1913.