I could make these posts a lot more often since there’s seldom a week goes by when Oscar Wilde’s work or something from his life isn’t making the news somewhere. I forget now how I came across the Robert Hichens book but the Beardsley-derived cover design is the best I’ve seen for this title. The Green Carnation was first published in 1894 and is the notorious roman à clef whose lead characters, Esmé Amarinth and Lord Reginald Hastings, are based on Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. Hichens paints the pair as very obvious inverts with none of the “is he or isn’t he?” subtlety that Wilde managed to sustain in public. For a scandalised London the book seemed to confirm what was already suspected about Wilde and Bosie’s relationship.
The cover art is credited to one John Parsons, an illustrator whose other work, if there is any, eludes the world’s search engines. This edition was published in 1949 by Unicorn Press and it’s something I’m tempted to buy as a companion for my Unicorn Press edition of Dorian Gray.
The following links are to recent articles spotted whilst looking for other things:
• Oscar Wilde, Classics Scholar. A review of The Women of Homer by Oscar Wilde, edited by Thomas Wright and Donald Mead.
• A new Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest has actor Brian Bedford playing Lady Bracknell.
• Buyers go Wilde for Oscar as short note to his friend sells for €1,500.
• Outsmarted: What Oscar Wilde could teach us about art criticism.