Lady Windermere's Fan. A Play About a Good Woman -
1908 - Methuen & Co., London - One of 1, 000 copies
‘Ladies and Gentlemen. I have enjoyed this evening immensely. The actors have given us a charming rendition of a delightful play, and your appreciation has been most intelligent. I congratulate you on the great success of your performance, which persuades me that you think almost as highly of the play as I do myself’. - Oscar Wilde’s opening night speech to the audience of the St. James’s Theatre.
Wilde found little success on the stage until he switched to comedy, writing Lady Windermere’s Fan whilst in the Lake District in 1891. He chose to take a percentage rather than an advance of £1,000, and due to the great success of the play he earned £7,000 in the first year alone (over £500,000 today).