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Oscar Wilde In America

a selected resource of oscar wilde's visits to america

A New Final Lecture

As mentioned in the introduction to The Lecture Tour itinerary, there have been four major published versions of Oscar Wilde's 1882 lecture tour of North America: those by E. H. Mikhail, Richard Ellmann, Norman Page, and Karl E. Beckson. None of these agrees with any other, and all are incomplete.

The itinerary compiled on this web site makes many corrections and changes to the previous versions. Perhaps the most important change is the addition of a new final lecture that extends the duration of the tour by some six weeks.

That lecture is an appearance by Wilde at Parepa Hall, in the Yorkville district of New York City, on November 27, 1882.

At this time Wilde had been living in New York for several weeks, so the assumption has been (possibly shared by Wilde at the time) that his lecturing had ended in St. John at the conclusion of his second visit to Canada some weeks earlier.

The lecture was recorded, however, with some of the usual press coverage albeit with less fanfare. After all, this was probably the first time Wilde had lectured without the anticipated arrival in town. Further, he had already lectured four times in the city (two in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn) and there was a general diminution of interest in Wilde at the end of a year-long visit.

This new final lecture is identified for the first time in Wilde scholarship on this web site and simultaneously in a cross-publication article in The Wildean (the journal of the Oscar Wilde Society, No. 42, January 2013).

Special thanks are due to Rob Marland, a UK independent scholar, for his initial work in identifying this lecture.

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