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Dearest Graduable Readers,

I have been silent on here for the last little while, just waiting for the right opportunity to ask for money (not really, but this new project is a crowd-funding one).

As you well know, last year I published a ‘lost’ Victorian pornographic novel entitled Letters from Laura and Eveline for the first time in over 100 years. I want to do that again, except this time the text in question is much more difficult, and expensive, to get hold of. The book is the second part of the (in)famous, putatively Wilde-penned Teleny (1893) entitled Des Grieux, The Prelude to Teleny (1899). The text is not nearly as well known as Teleny but its importance as a text associated with it (and possibly Wlide) cannot be denied. Not much is known about the novel and the two known copies have been in private collections for as long as I know.

Now, however, one of the copies has come up for auction at Christie’s in London. Now, those two words usually mean one thing: pounds (£) and lots of them. While this is true for Des Grieux, Christie’s has put a relatively low figure on it of between £1000 – £1500 (approximately $1800 – $2700 CAD). Compare this with the estimate placed on Teleny in the same lot of between £7000 – £10000 ($12500 – $18000 CAD) and the difference is clear.

My idea is simple: raise enough money to bid competitively on Des Grieux on Tuesday 18 November, win the auction, produce and edit the second ever edition of the book, then donate the original to the British Library. Everything about that plan is simple and within my grasp except for the money bit. That’s why I launched a Kickstarter project to see if I can raise enough money to do this. Even though the book is estimated at a very low price, it’s still a lot more than I can single-handedly afford to pay for one book, regardless of how rare it is.

So, even if you can’t donate to the project can you please share it round? That’d be fab.

Here’s the Kickstarter link: Oscar Wilde’s ‘Other’ Suppressed Novel

This is the auction site for Des Grieux: Christie’s London

Here is the entry from Peter Mendes containing most of the available info on Des Grieux. Mendes is one of the few people who have actually examined the text in question: Des Grieux

If you’d like to find out more about Teleny, you can look at the OScholars special Teleny edition here.

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