Wood County Reporter (Grand Rapids, WI), Sep 7, 1882, 4
The Times (Philadelphia, PA), Aug 24, 1882
Wednesday, August 23, 1882
Probably Did Not Take Place
Wilde’s published itinerary (above) includes a lecture at Spring Lake, but no record has yet been found that it actually took place. The Spring Lake lecture was one of four or five at nearby resorts arranged on consecutive days and so may not have sold well.
It is also possible that Wilde declined the event. Reports exist to the effect that Wilde, “who was to lecture” failed to appear on the beach as announced, and his absence led some local boys to hang (by the arm-pits) an effigy of Oscar from a flagpole, complete with corset, sunflower, knee-breeches and Japanese parasol. The readiness of such a likeness suggests a preparedness for ridicule that Wilde might have heard about it, and this could explain why he failed to appear. This would also be in keeping with similar avoidance tactics for his lecture the following day in Asbury Park, where it was reported that he “made himself scarce during the day” to evade curiosity seekers, and, similarly at Cape May he entered his hotel via a side door.
When departing the Jersey Shore at Cape May he told an abusive crowd at the station that they did not know how to behave. (See under Cape May below).