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Oscar Wilde In America



Oscar Wilde is not only one of the most quoted of authors, he is one of the most quotable people of all time. In books of quotations the frequency of entires by Wilde is exceeded usually only by those of Shakespeare and the Bible—a phenomenon now being continued, if not exceeded, on web sites and within the online community.

Unfortunately, all too often Oscar Wilde's quotations are given without a source, and some are erroneous. In keeping with this web site's reference standards, all quotations on are based on primary sources, and are provided with supporting data and reference notes.

The quotations are a selection of remarks that Oscar Wilde made about, or while in, America.

There is also one dubious quotation and one misattributed quotation.


I was very much disappointed in the Atlantic Ocean.

In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.

America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself.

She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.

"Perhaps, after all, America has never been discovered," said Mr Erskine. "I myself would say that it had merely been detected."

Who am I to tamper with a masterpiece?

Indeed the two most remarkable bits of scenery in the States are undoubtedly Delmonico's and the Yosemite Valley.

"They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris," chuckled Sir Thomas...."Really! And where do bad Americans go to when they die?" inquired the Duchess. "They go to America," murmured Lord Henry.

The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.

"No ruins! no curiosities!' answered the Ghost, "you have your navy and your manners".

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.

A fashion is merely a form of ugliness so absolutely unbearable that we have to alter it every six months!


I have nothing to declare except my genius.


Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

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