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Oscar Wilde In America

oscar wilde's 1882 lecture tour of america

Aurora, IL

The Decorative Arts* | Coulter Opera House | Friday, March 3, 1882

* See Clarification below.



Newspaper interview with Wilde

Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1882 Page 5


Newspaper report

Chicago Tribune, March 6, 1882 Page 5


Newspaper report

The Ottawa Free Trader, March 4, 1882 Page 8


source note

As to venue

The Beacon News, Aurora (IL), April 8, 1998 [1]

"Wilde appeared in 1882 at the Coulter Opera House, which occupied the second and third floors of what today is the Merchants Bank Building at Broadway and Downer Place downtown" [2]

[1] While this is not a primary source in itself, it is presumably the reporting of a primary source, and there is no reason to doubt it. Indeed the Opera House was the only such theater in the city at the time

[2] Now the Fifth Third Bank


As to lecture title

No record is currently available for the title of the lecture Wilde gave in Aurora, although The Decorative Arts was the one he was giving immediately before and after.

See also note at Dubuque.

historical note

Coulter Opera House
Broadway and Downer Place, Aurora, IL


Opened: 1874
Closed: 1899
Building extant

Picture credits

Above image: Google Streetview.
Top inset: The News Bulletin


No record is currently available as to whether Wilde stayed overnight in Aurora. It is entirely possible he traveled on by train the 50 miles to Chicago, which was his base for this midwest leg of the tour. He was certainly in Chicago on the following afternoon prior to traveling up to Racine, WI, for an evening lecture.

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