This is the original, French-language edition of Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé: A Drama in One Act.
Why is it in French?
Wilde explained to a French journalist at the time,
One of the most famous pieces of Wilde’s self-mythology concerns the composition of this play. He claimed to have gone out one evening to a café and told the musicians: ‘I am writing a play about a woman dancing with her bare feet in the blood of a man she has craved for and slain. I want you to play something in harmony with my thoughts.’ The band, Wilde alleged, played ‘such wild and terrible music that those who were there stopped talking and looked at each other with blanched faces. Then I went and finished Salomé'.
Did Wilde plan for it to be printed rather than staged?
Despite its language, Wilde had been refused permission for the play to be performed in England. This ban did not include print publication, however, and Wilde tried to make the most of the situation by simultaneously publishing the French script in England (by Elkin Matthews and John Lane) and France.