Local News

May 22, 2012

Rare book featured in learning center’s annual gallery reception



— researching the history of that particular volume. He determined that it is a facsimile of several of Wilde’s manuscripts and letters, some in his wife Constance’s handwriting, that once belonged to a wealthy Brazilian woman.

“I’ve seen nine Gutenberg Bibles,” Combs said. “That’s the one experience that thrilled me more than this.”

The original compilation of manuscripts and letters is owned by the Morgan Library and Museum in New York.

The Brazilian-born philanthropist, Lucia Moreira Salles, donated the originals to the Morgan in the fall of 2008, according to the website for the library and museum. But before doing so, Combs said, she had several copies made and inserted into volumes alongside transcriptions so Wilde’s handwriting could be deciphered.

She gave those volumes to friends and libraries, as was customary among wealthy book collectors. The purple book that the Ferlands sent Combs appears to be one of them.

Combs thinks around five of the books are in private hands, including Pamela Ferland’s, but he doesn’t know for sure who else has copies. He’s aware of no more than 30 copies.

According to the international WorldCat library database, 20 libraries in the United States, England and Germany hold identical facsimiles of the Wilde letters. The catalog entry for the book states that 525 copies were printed, signed and numbered by Moreira Salles and Wilde scholar Merlin Holland, who wrote the book’s introduction.

The books were printed privately in Verona, Italy, and bound in Milan.

They were finished just before Moreira Salles died in January 2009.

Ferland and his wife, Pamela, noticed the volume at a charity fundraiser in Connecticut last fall. It was on a table set aside for rare books. The Ferlands had to wear white gloves to handle the books there.

“I was attracted by the binding more than anything else,” Charles said. The royal purple fabric covering the hardback book is a rare marker of fine bookbinding. Other indicators of quality — the personalized copyright page and the matching clamshell box it came in — gave him and Pamela clues that the book was more than an interesting find.

“As soon as I saw it, I said, ‘we’ve got to get that book,’” he recalled.

“Pam looked at it, and she knows more about Oscar Wilde than I do, and she said, ‘This is special.’”

• Sarah Einselen is a staff reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5151 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Area could see higher healthcare premiums Individual premiums for healthcare under the Patents Protection and Affordable Care Act could go up in counties with poorer health, according to a Ball State University study.The study said counties with poor health, specifically high diabetes incide

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Voting2.jpg Round 2: Deadlines approach to file for November election Openings are filling up as deadlines to file approach to run for local town councils and school boards.Up for election this fall are town council seats in Royal Center’s districts No. 2, 3 and at large and at large in Walton as well. The filing deadl

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT073114 Hopper2.jpg The right track: Logansport boy advocates railroad crossing safety

    It's not uncommon to see 12-year-old Ethan Hopper sitting in a lawn chair near his father's business on 18th Street in Logansport, his cell phone pointed at a locomotive heading down the nearby tracks. The engines make up a fascination modern technol

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Cass Co. Community Foundation eligible for grant The Cass County Community Foundation is eligible to receive half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a matching grant at some point over the course of the next couple of years.Lilly Endowment announced the sixth phase of its Giving Indiana

    July 31, 2014

  • Locals: EPA delay request too late Logansport officials say while they appreciate a state executive’s request to delay new rules on coal power plants, its timing still requires pursuing a new power plant for the city.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published last month its Cl

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 30, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT073014 Hickman.jpg Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    MONTICELLO — Two were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores. Lindsey R. Hogg, 22, Monticello, and Rachel D. Hickman, 23, Burnettsville, were arrested by the Lafayette

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

     View Results