Wildeana 14


BookBench by Trevor Skempton.

Continuing an occasional series. Recent (and not-so-recent) Wildean links.

• The BookBench above is one of several pieces of street furniture placed around London last autumn all of which were based on literary works past and present. Trevor Skempton’s design for Oscar Wilde was based on The Importance of Being Earnest which wouldn’t have been my choice (Dorian Gray, please). See the rest of the designs here.

• “Rare Play About Oscar Wilde Will Return to NYC“: John Gay’s solo play Diversions & Delights will get its first professional New York staging since Vincent Price performed it on Broadway in 1978.

Chapter Three, “Strike a Pose,” concerns Wilde’s visit to the New York studio of the celebrated portrait photographer Napoleon Sarony, where he posed for twenty-seven portraits. The now-familiar images from this session would be used not only for publicity, but also on trade cards advertising “products ranging from cigars to kitchen stoves.” An image of Wilde even wound up promoting “Mme Marie Fontaine’s Bosom Beautifier for Beautifying & Enlarging The Bust.’”

Jennie Rathbun reviews Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity by David M. Friedman

• “Letters unravel mystery of the death of Oscar Wilde’s wife: Grandson of Irish dramatist has unearthed medical evidence in private family letters which points to likely cause of death”.


Mme Marie Fontaine’s Bosom Beautifier for Beautifying & Enlarging The Bust. Trade card, 1882.

Books from Oscar Wilde’s library discovered in the National Library of the Netherlands.

Wilde-inspired: a list of recommended film viewing.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Oscar Wilde archive