THE LECTURE TOUR OF north AMERICA 1882
The purpose of this itinerary is to provide, for the first time, an accurate record of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America in 1882.
Wilde scholars are fortunate in having a wealth of prior scholarship. For the lecture tour there have been four major published versions to date, contained in the following works:
- Mikhail, E. H., ed. Oscar Wilde: Interviews and Recollections. 2 vols. London: MacMillan, 1979.
- Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. London: Hamish Hamilton; New York: Knopf, 1987.
- Page, Norman. An Oscar Wilde Chronology. Houndmills: MacMillian; Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991. [re-prints and credits Ellmann but differs in two respects]
- Beckson, Karl E., ed. The Oscar Wilde Encyclopedia. New York: AMS Press, 1998.
Unfortunately, none of the four previous itineraries agrees with any other. Therefore, in addition to the verified list, to demonstrate the evolution of scholarship, and as a frame of reference and comparison, there is a also a checklist format to show the previously published itineraries side-by-side with the list in progress.
In addition there are separate pages dedicated to verifying and illustrating each lecture. The standard is that no date, location, or lecture topic, will be verified unless it can be supported by a primary source.
The detail of Wilde’s American tour presents considerable challenges and is necessarily an evolving project. I am grateful not only for the scholarship behind the historical data, but to contemporaries who have assisted in this chronicle.