København [Copenhagen]: Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag (F. Hegel & Son), 1890. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. First Printing of perhaps Ibsen's "most frequently performed play in the modern theatre." (PMM) In Danish (then the literary language of both Denmark and Norway). Foolscap 8vo: ,236pp. Publisher's green cloth (copies were also identically bound in red, brown, and grey, no known priority), front cover elaborately blocked in gilt and black, back board with blind-stamped borders and central publisher's logo, floral patterned endpapers, gilt edges. A brilliant copy, barely rubbed to spine ends. PMM 375. Fine. Item #BB1460
First trade edition, preceded by twelve copies printed in London, in Norwegian, "under a well-intentioned illusion that this was necessary for copyright protection." (PMM) Published on December 16, 1890, although the play only premiered on January 31, 1891, at the Königliches Residenz-Theater, in Munich. Together with The Lady from the Sea and Rosmersholm, Hedda Gabler forms the Munich trilogy (Ibsen lived in Munich when he wrote them.) The heroines, Ellida, Rebecca, and Hedda, are all determined women, but only Ellida is able to achieve freedom from the consequences of her past actions. Hedda, who, as the play opens, has just married the dull academic Tesman to avoid a spinster’s life, realizes that she has trapped herself in a life of impossible tedium, with suicide as her only way out. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.